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New Westminster IGA to close

The IGA Marketplace grocery store at Columbia Square in New Westminster is scheduled to close by the summer. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
The IGA Marketplace grocery store at Columbia Square in New Westminster is scheduled to close by the summer.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

The IGA Marketplace grocery store in New Westminster will close later this year.

Scott Coburn, vice-president for H.Y. Louie Company (operators of the store) said although the company would like to remain operating at the 1025 Columbia St. location, the decision was made to shut because it is no longer financially viable.

On Jan. 17, the company gave six months' notice to the property's owner that it will be closing down. Coburn said for the last year the costs of labour, operating and rental exceeded the revenue generated.

"We have been unable to recover from this decrease in sales," said Coburn.

A closure date has not been determined, he said, but it will likely be within five months because it generally takes about a month to clean out a location that closes down.

Sixty days' notice must also be given to the staff. Coburn said the store has about 55 unionized employees split between United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 1518 which represents cashiers, produce and grocery clerks, and UFCW 247, representatives of the meat and deli department employees. Coburn said the store was one of five (Burnaby, West Vancouver, and two in Vancouver) in a bargaining unit, so seniority rights will apply to some of the New Westminster employees.

In December 2011, Safeway opened a store in the Shops @ New West Station development attached to the New Westminster SkyTrain station. Coburn would not comment when asked about the effect the opening had on the IGA outlet's revenue.

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