A downtown grocery store could become a reality for Saskatoon.
A day after announcing construction on the city’s first Save-On-Foods, company president Darrell Jones said a downtown store is a consideration.
“Absolutely we’ll take a look, particularly hearing that’s a need for the people of Saskatoon,” Jones said Wednesday.
Jones said he’s spoken with Mayor Don Atchison about the need downtown, and heard more from people at Tuesday’s announcement.
“If we can find a spot, and it’s viable for us, we’ll certainly look at downtown,” he said.
Save-On-Foods first Saskatoon store – a 33,000-square-foot location with around 150 employees – is expected to open in Kensington early in 2017.
The other two locations set for Saskatoon include one in the Brighton area, and a yet-to-be-finalized site on Cumberland Avenue.
On Tuesday, Jones said the chain wants to expand to six locations in Saskatoon; last year, he announced the company was looking at around 20 stores in the province – with locations in Regina, Yorkton and Moose Jaw.
“We will launch guaranteeing the lowest prices on items you buy the most, or you get them for free,” Jones said.
The opening of the first Save-On-Foods in Moose Jaw has been delayed, however, Regina’s inaugural location opened earlier this year.
In July 2015, the grocery chain announced plans for five Regina locations. Jones said the response in the Queen City has been overwhelmingly positive.
“They particularly enjoy the grocery delivery, which has been the quickest launch we’ve had since we started online shopping two years ago,” he said.
Walmart and Loblaws in Canada have both employed models of online grocery shopping, with different methods of delivery.
The Kensington Save-On-Foods will launch with “click and collect” service, where customers can order groceries online and pick them up at the store.
Jones said full online ordering and delivery will be available for people in Saskatoon when a second location opens four months later.
“You have to give your customers groceries where they want it, when they want it and how they want it,” he said.
Saskatoon stores will have options such as in-store made sushi, a pizza bar, a hot wing bar, Starbucks coffee and a frozen yogurt kiosk.
The company said it wants to work with local producers to ensure food close to home makes it to market.