The Jim Pattison Group’s grocery business continues to show it won’t sit idle while national chains Loblaws and Sobeys bulk up their presence in Western Canada. Pattison’s Overwaitea Foods recently took over three Vancouver-area supermarkets from H.Y. Louie and a former Thrifty Foods location from Sobeys. The group also opened its first Save-on-Foods in the Yukon this year on the heels of launching its first Saskatchewan location last year. This is all part of a plan to grow to 200 outlets across Western Canada, an increase from about 150 in Alberta and B.C. today. Overwaitea’s wholesale arm will also take over supplying dry goods to IGA and other stores from H.Y. Louie, which is leaving that business.
Known in Vancouver as the man who rescued Expo 86 and helped get the 2010 Olympic bid over the finish line, Pattison knows when to cut bait. Another of the group’s 24 subsidiaries, Canfisco, announced in November 2015 it would close its salmon cannery in Prince Rupert—the last in B.C. and once the largest in the world—causing a reported 500 layoffs. “We’re moving more to fresh and frozen products,” Rob Morley, vice-president of production and corporate development for Canfisco, told CBC.
Updated Thursday, November 9, 2017