Even as a new era began today at the former Safeway store at the Centre at Circle and 8th, it was announced an era was about to end not very far away. Saskatoon Co Op has decided to close their store at 8th Street and Emerson. A third party assessment has revealed various problems with the systems and physical condition of the building, and Co Op has decided it's not worth the time and money to renovate the store. The gas station on the same property will remain in business for the foreseeable future. The store is unionised, and the United Food and Commercial Workers are working with Co Op to relocate the 99 employees to other Co Op locations in Saskatoon.
The building also currently houses a Co Op run travel agency and a Gamma-Dynacare medical lab, which will presumably be looking for a new home in short order. Early this year a Hakim Optical outlet that was in the building closed, making me suspect Co Op was already seriously considering closing up shop, and therefore decided not to renew their lease.
Given the store's reported issues the closure isn't a surprise. The new Centre at Circle and 8th location is only a kilometer away, and is a modern store that has been renovated in the last few years. The changes needed to make it suitable for the Co Op are minimal.
In my post earlier today I mentioned that much of the customer base of the 8th and Emerson store is senior citizens. I would imagine some of them will not be happy with the closure, as they were regular patrons of the store's cafeteria, a feature the new store does not have.
It will be sad to see it go. My family were patrons of the store for a long time, although the amount of business we've been doing there has declined considerably as the number of grocery options in Saskatoon have expanded. I've been in there hundreds of times over the years from a very young age, and have seen the changes it's gone through.