Loblaw to close ‘aging’ Ottawa distribution centre in 2021, affecting 230 workers

loblaw
The Loblaw Co. Ltd. distribution centre at 2625 Sheffield Rd. Via Google Street View
Editor's Note

This story was updated with figures on affected employees.

Grocery chain Loblaw Co. Ltd. announced Tuesday it is winding down operations at its Ottawa distribution centre on Sheffield Road.

A spokesperson for Loblaw told OBJ that the warehouse at 2625 Sheffield Rd. is “aging rapidly and nearing the end of its expected service.” The grocer will begin to wind down work at the site and ultimately end operations in 2021.

The decision will affect some 230 employees that work at the site. The spokesperson added that Loblaw will soon begin negotiations with the union representing its workers to set up “transition plans” for employees interested in continuing work with the company or moving on.

Meanwhile, Loblaw announced that about 545 employees in Laval will be affected as the distribution centre there is also wound down over the same timeframe.

A spokesperson said volumes from Ottawa and Laval are moving to a facility in Cornwall that's been open for more than a decade. The automated distribution centre will expand to be among Canada's most modern distribution centres and an undisclosed number of workers will be added to handle the greater volumes.

The statement concluded noting that customers expect Loblaw to be a “modern retailer,” adding the company will spend more than $1 billion in 2020 to modernize its workforce and stores.

– With files from Canadian Press