Thrifty Foods keeping head office in Victoria

There are no plans to close Thrifty Foods head office in Victoria as its parent company, Empire, looks for major savings

There are no plans to close Thrifty Foods head office in Victoria as its parent company, Empire, looks for major savings, said a company spokesman Friday.

Last week an internal memo from Empire chief executive Marc Poulin unveiled a plan at integrating the support systems of Thrifty Foods, Sobeys and Safeway.

Thrifty Foods spokesman Ralf Mundel said how the new structure will look “is yet to be totally defined. We’ve made no plans to close Victoria office.”

In the memo Poulin said the food side of the business will transition into two distinct business units, one in Western Canada based in Calgary and another for  Ontario and the Atlantic regions.

Empire is keen on trimming its operation. In its third quarter financial report released in March, Poulin said the company is looking for major changes.

But Mundel reemphasized that nothing is changing on the local front in the immediate future.

“What is really clear is that the Thrifty Foods brand is absolutely not going anywhere. It really includes the focus on our local customers, and local people who understand the market,” he said.

“We’re committed to the local community and that’s not going to change.”

Sobeys bought Thrifty Foods from Victoria resident Alex Campbell in 2007 for $260 million. The purchase included 20 stores.

Thrifty Foods now has 26 stores and 5,000 employees.