The long-awaited grand openings of Richmond’s two new FreshCo locations were celebrated Thursday morning with ribbon cutting ceremonies, discounts, lion dances and massive line-ups.
The Sobeys-owned company – which closed its Safeway locations in Richmond last summer – opened both the Blundell and Broadmoor shopping centre stores at 8 a.m.
At the Broadmoor location, at least one customer lined up as early as 4:30 a.m., taking advantage of the free pack of bath tissues given out to the first 500 customers.
“We’re excited to show the people of Richmond what FreshCo has to offer. Our customers will have access to fresh food items and produce, while also offering a variety of multicultural foods,” said Scott Marshall, store owner at Broadmoor FreshCo.
During the Broadmoor location’s ribbon cutting ceremony, store owner Scott Marshall presented the Richmond Food Bank with a $5,000 donation and a lion dance celebrated the store’s opening. A $5000 donation was also given to the Food Bank during the Blundell location's opening.
Following the Blundell location’s ceremony, customers swarmed the store, creating huge line-ups at the checkouts.
“At FreshCo, we know our communities will be thrilled with the variety of offerings at lower prices,” said Anthony Vongsana, store owner of Blundell FreshCo. “We are committed to providing our customers the freshest foods at a price that can’t be beat.”
Both locations are offering huge grand opening deals including discounts on steaks, watermelon and bathroom tissues.
The closure of the Blundell and Broadmoor Safeway stores last year was shrouded in uncertainty, amid fears for unionized workers’ collective agreements.
Last July, nine Safeway stores in Metro Vancouver closed and the union representing workers claimed that the closures impacted 1,000 employees.
The Richmond News reported in April, 2018 how Safeway in Western Canada ran into financial problems since Sobeys purchased the well-known brand name supermarket.
FreshCo’s two Richmond locations are among 12 across Western Canada to open this spring.