Blackfalds and Penhold Family Foods stores are rebranding as IGA outlets.
Co-owner Gerry Knebel said $500,000 is being spent on new upgrades and equipment and the two grocery stores ahead of the changeover.
Knebel said the switch offers a lot of advantages for the grocery stores, which have been around for about 12 years. Gerry’s son, Rich, Doug Domoney and Joe Tait are the other partners and all will remain as owners and operators.
“The support that we received in both communities has far surpassed our expectations,” Knebel said on Tuesday. “However, with the changes in the grocery industry, we felt we needed a more recognized brand so we chose the IGA label.”
IGA is owned by Sobeys, which operates under its own name but also has a number of banners, including Safeway and Thrifty Foods among others.
Knebel said being able to take advantage of the buying power of a big chain reduces the stores’ costs, which also means savings for customers.
“We are able to be much more competitive,” he said, adding the stores will now offer Air Miles as well.
Customers will have more shopping options with a larger selection in all departments.
Major renovations will include a complete makeover inside the Blackfalds store. Some of the new options in both stores include walk-around delis offering hot and cold dishes. A larger selection of homemade salads will be available along with vegetable and meat dishes ready to be popped in the oven.
“People will be able to come in and buy their full meals at our stores,” he said. “We are gearing our stores to people who are really busy and for working moms and dads who want to come home with a quick meal all ready to go.”
Blackfalds IGA will have its grand opening on Jan. 20 and Penhold IGA will go on Feb. 3. Besides a host of deals, customers have a shot at winning 5,000 Air Miles.