Downtown residents are disappointed — but not discouraged — by the surprise announcement this week that the Sobeys on 104th Street and Jasper Avenue is closing on July 31.
On Thursday, Sobeys confirmed they will be closing four locations in Edmonton, one of them being the store located in the downtown core.
“We’re always reviewing our stores and locations and the markets we’re in, and the Jasper/104, unfortunately at the end of the day, it just wasn’t financially viable for us to operate,” Sobeys spokeswoman Keri Scobie told CBC News Thursday.
That explanation doesn’t make much sense to downtown city councillor Scott McKeen.
“They were always busy,” he said. “Whenever I went in there and I talked to a number of people about this over the past day, and they all said the same thing.”
Ryan Lindsay lives downtown and he is disappointed to see the store go.
“It’s really sad to see the grocery store closing, because it’s a big part of our community,” he said. “There’s a huge need with all the complexes down here.”
McKeen was also disappointed when he first heard the news of the closure.
“Sobeys has a good reputation throughout the city,” he said. “It’s downtown’s signature street, so it’s a shame. It’s a tremendous shame it didn’t work out for Sobeys.”
McKeen remains optimistic that the areas grocery needs will be fulfilled, citing “a proposal” that he did not elaborate on.
Lindsay hopes the nearby arena development will help bring something new and improved to the vacated spot.
“We’re hoping something good goes in,” he said.
Earth’s General Store will also be moving into the neighbourhood, about half a block to the north of 104th Street.