Metro Vancouver’s first two FreshCo stores open with massive lines, discounts (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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The long-awaited grand openings of Richmond’s two new FreshCo grocery stores were celebrated Thursday morning with ribbon cutting ceremonies, discounts, lion dances and massive line-ups.

Massive line ups outside FreshCo’s Blundell location. Photo by Alvin Chow.

The Sobeys-owned company – which closed its Safeway locations in Richmond last summer – opened both the Blundell and Broadmoor shopping centre stores at 8 a.m.

At the Broadmoor location, at least one customer lined up as early as 4:30 a.m., taking advantage of the free pack of bath tissues given out to the first 500 customers.

During the Broadmoor location’s ribbon cutting ceremony, store owner Scott Marshall presented the Richmond Food Bank with a $5,000 donation and a lion dance celebrated the store’s opening.

FreshCo general manager Rob Adams (far left) and owner of the Broadmoor location Scott Marshall (right) present Richmond Food Bank with a check for $5000. Photo by Alvin Chow

Following the Blundell location’s ceremony, customers swarmed the store, creating huge line-ups at the checkouts.

Both locations are offering huge grand opening deals including discounts on steaks, watermelon and bathroom tissues.

The closure of the Blundell and Broadmoor Safeway stores last year was shrouded in uncertainty, amid fears for unionized workers’ collective agreements.

Huge lineups to the check outs inside FreshCo’s Blundell location. Photo by Alvin Chow

Last July, nine Safeway stores in Metro Vancouver closed and the union representing workers claimed that the closures impacted 1,000 employees.

The Richmond News reported in April, 2018 how Safeway in Western Canada ran into financial problems since Sobeys purchased the well-known brand name supermarket.

FreshCo’s two Richmond locations are among 12 across Western Canada to open this spring.

FreshCo Broadmoor celebrates its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Richmond Coun. Bill McNulty. Photo by Alvin Chow.
FreshCo’s Broadmoor location celebrates its opening with a lion dance. Photo by Alvin Chow