Grocer Sobeys set to close some underperforming stores:Globe and Mail

Grocer Sobeys Inc. is set to announce that it’s closing underperforming stores and cutting jobs, following its $5.8-billion acquisition of rival Safeway Canada.

The Globe and Mail says Sobeys is looking for savings in an intensely competitive environment for grocery sales.

Sources have told the newspaper there could be as many as 50 to 60 store closures, but Sobey officials wouldn’t confirm the numbers.

The parent company of Sobeys, Empire Co. Ltd. (TSX:EMP.A), will release its fourth-quarter results today and is expected to provide more details then.

Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores across Canada under several banners that include Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods and Lawton’s Drug Stores as well as more than 330 retail gas locations. Earlier this year, the company signed deals to sell 29 stores in Western Canada for a total of roughly $430 million.

It was required to sell 23 stores as part of an agreement with the Competition Bureau in connection with its purchase of Canada Safeway.