About 27 people laid off after St. Norbert grocery store flood, say owners

About 27 people laid off after St. Norbert grocery store flood, say owners

About 27 people have been laid off after a St. Norbert grocery store flooded, the owners have confirmed.

The Marketplace closed at the end of January after a burst pipe sent water gushing into the grocery store, said Cameron Zimmer, spokesperson for the Federated Co-Operatives Limited.

“Unfortunately, because it’s looking like it’s longer-term regardless, those employees are indefinitely laid off until we figure out a solution at that location,” said Zimmer. “But we are always looking for other opportunities for them.”

The group owns The Marketplace and several Co-op grocery stores in Winnipeg. A notice placed on The Marketplace’s Facebook page thanked customers for their patronage and directed them to the group’s other stores.

The store was flooded with about 15 centimetres of water, said Zimmer, and the water ravaged more than the stock.

“It caused pretty extensive damage in the store, not only product but to the store itself,” he said. “So right now we’re just kind of evaluating next steps and what to do with the store going forward, but we don’t have any long-term answers yet.

“A lot of the initial clean-up has happened and any products that weren’t affected were shifted either to other Co-op stores or they were donated to Winnipeg Harvest. But the damage itself to the building was definitely more extensive than a simple clean-up.”

The board has “been overwhelmed” with messages from people in St. Norbert asking for the store to be re-opened, he added.

“It obviously has a close tie to many members of the community and we are definitely factoring that in as we do evaluate what to do next.”

Both area councillor Janice Lukes and St. Norbert Farmer’s Market executive director Marilyn Firth have spoken up in support of The Marketplace’s re-opening, citing the good relationship between the farmer’s market and the store. 

Lukes told CBC on the weekend she would like to see it re-open and possibly expand, saying she has been in touch with city planners to help the store do so, should it re-open.

Zimmer said he couldn’t say when a decision would be made about the store’s fate, noting they are currently talking to insurers.

Published at Mon, 05 Feb 2018 16:20:01 -0500