The Competition Bureau has ordered Sobey’s Inc. to sell 23 stores in Western Canada before it will approve its $5.8-billion purchase of grocer Safeway Canada. 

The Nova Scotia-based supermarket chain says it has agreed to put the supermarkets on the block and it expects to close the acquisition of the Canadian assets of Safeway in early November. .

Sobeys, which is owned by Empire Co. Ltd., says the stores are under various labels, including Safeway, Sobeys, IGA and Price Chopper.

The Competition Bureau said it decided to order the sale of 23 stores to preserve competition in certain markets in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“The bureau concluded that the proposed transaction would lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the retail sale of a full-line of grocery products in a number of local markets in Western Canada,” it said in its analysis released Tuesday.

A significant number of Safeway's 213 grocery stores are in relatively close proximity to at least one Sobeys’ grocery store, it said.

Five of the affected stores are in Winnipeg, four in Edmonton and two in Victoria. The full list:

  • Sidney, B.C., Safeway Sidney, 2345 Beacon Ave.
  • Tsawwassen, B.C., Safeway Tsawwassen, 1143 — 56th Street.
  • Victoria, Safeway University Heights, 3958 Shelbourne Street.
  • Victoria, Safeway Fort and Foul, 1950 Foul Bay Road.
  • New Westminster, B.C., Thrifty Foods Sapperton, 270 East Columbia Street.
  • Edmonton, Safeway Millwoods, 2331– 66th Street.
  • Edmonton, Sobeys Hawkstone, 18370 Lessard Rd.
  • Edmonton, Sobeys Goldbar, 5036 — 106th Ave.
  • Edmonton, IGA Ottewell, 6204 — 90th Avenue NW.
  • Canmore, Alta.,  Sobeys Canmore, 950 Railway Ave.
  • Cochrane, Alta.,Sobeys Cochrane, 65 Bow Street.
  • Leduc, Alta. Sobeys Leduc, 5421 — 50th Street.
  • Fort McMurray, Alta., Safeway Thickwood, 131 Signal Rd.
  • Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., Sobeys Station Square, 10004 — 99th Ave.

  • Taber, Alta., Safeway Taber, 4926 — 46th Avenue
  • Wetaskiwin, Alta., Sobeys Wetaskiwin, 4703 — 50th Street
  • Regina, Safeway Regina, 3801 Albert Street
  • Saskatoon, Safeway 8th/Circle, 3310 — 8th Street East
  • Winnipeg, Safeway Main Street, 1441 Main St.
  • Winnipeg, Safeway Southdale Centre, 77 Vermillion Rd.
  • Winnipeg, Safeway Grant Park, 1120 Grant Ave.
  • Winnipeg, Safeway St. Vital, 850 Dakota St.
  • Winnipeg, Price Chopper Stafford Square, 677 Stafford S.