Thrifty Foods was founded by Alex Campbell and his partner Ernie Skinner in 1977. The first Thrifty Foods supermarket was located in the area of Fairfield,Victoria, in the province of British Columbia.
Over the years, Thrifty Foods has become the biggest supermarket chain onVancouver Island. In 1999, it was voted one of British Columbia’s “Ten Best Companies to Work For.” Thrifty Foods is alsoVancouver Island’s biggest private employer.
Thrifty Foods was purchased by Sobeys Inc. in 2007 and became a division of the giant retail company. Thrifty Foods was acquired from its founder Alex Campbell, for 260 million Canadian dollars. Despite being owned by Sobeys, all Thrifty Foods supermarkets are operated by independent supermarket owners. Also in 2007, the supermarket chain was given recognition as one of the “50 Best Managed Companies” in the whole of Canada.
In 2010, Sobeys Inc. announced that it was developing a distribution center for Thrifty Foods. The facility, worth $31 million, will occupy 19 acres of Victoria Airport Authority’s land. The facility is currently under construction and is projected to be completed and operational by the later part of 2012.
In the area of Greater Vancouver, there are seven Thrifty Foods supermarkets. These supermarkets are located in Abbotsford, Coquitlam, South Surrey, North Vancouver, Tsawwassen, New Westminster and Port Moody. Another Thrifty Foods supermarket is located in the area of Saltspring Island, and the rest are found in the area of Vancouver Island. Thrifty Foods’ headquarters is currently in Central Saanich, which is a suburb in Greater Victoria, British Columbia. The head office in Central Saanich also servers as a distribution center for all of the supermarkets’ products.
As a way of giving back to the community, Thrifty Foods has developed a yearly scholarship program that hands out $1,500 to twenty students that are directly (or indirectly) part of the supermarket chain’s web. The company has also recently launched a fish-tagging system as part of its commitment to the environment. The program, named thisfish.info, was launched in cooperation with EcotrustCanada, a non-profit organization based inVancouver.
Headquarters: Central Saanich, BC
Ownership Type: Private, a division of Sobeys, Incorporated
Employees: More than 4,000
Geography: Canada (British Columbia)
Demography: Retail grocery consumers