Safeway says it will close 10 stores in Metro Vancouver this month.

After examining buying patterns in western Canada, Empire Co. has reportedly decided that small box discount and the Sobeys FreshCo discount supermarket chain are preferred by shoppers in those markets.

As many as 1000 employees will be affected. Five stores will be closed permanently but the other five could be relaunched under the FreshCo brand. That decision may depend on whether the unions representing workers in those stores can negotiate a new collective agreement.

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