SASKATOON — Low sales and a challenging market are forcing Good Food Junction to shut its doors in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhood.
The Good Food Junction (GFJ) Co-operative board of directors announced they will be closing the grocery store located adjacent to Station 20 West on 20th Street in Saskatoon as of Jan. 27, 2016.
The decision comes after three years of insufficient sales to support the store, despite the efforts of the co-operative’s board, management and staff to profitably operate a grocery store within a challenging industry and highly competitive marketplace.
“It was important to the board and the core members of the co-op, that the store provide exemplary service and offer a wide variety of high-quality fresh foods at an accessible price. Unfortunately, the co-op was not able to meet our customers’ expectations with respect to product offerings and prices. The co-op’s low sales reflect this,” says board vice-chair Audra Krueger.
“Our inability to overcome the complex challenges of running an independent grocery store in an under-served community made the decision to close the store necessary.”
The Good Food Junction co-op (GFJ) opened in September 2012, after a grassroots fundraising initiative that involved many local churches and community organizations. The co-operative was a community-led initiative responding to a lack of affordable fresh food in Saskatoon’s west-side core neighbourhoods, after the community’s last remaining grocery store closed in the 1990s.
Operating with a focus on addressing food security in the community, the co-operative grocery store grew to some 1,800 members in its three years of operation.
Krueger says, “Despite strong member growth and unwavering core support, the store could not generate sufficient sales in the highly competitive, low-margin grocery industry to sustain itself.”
The GFJ store’s closing Jan. 27, will be preceded by a liquidation sale starting Jan. 15.
Board members expressed sincere thanks to the Good Food Junction’s donors, members, staff, and many customers for their support and genuine efforts to address food security in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhoods.