By Karen Squires (this story originally appeared in the February 2022 edition of the New Edinburgh News)
Metro Inc. purchased the land occupied by its grocery store on Beechwood Avenue back in December. This investment in our community is good news, showing the confidence Canada’s third-largest food retailer has in the Beechwood Village area.
There had been much speculation and concern in the community about what would happen to our beloved Beechwood Metro, which many of us have come to rely upon. When news hit in early December that the land was up for sale, many patrons wondered what the future might hold. What would happen should this location be purchased by a developer and how might this disrupt our shopping experience? We’ve all enjoyed being able to walk or drive easily to Metro, right in the heart of our community, as this is what makes a community thrive!
Metro store manager Shawn Steinburg has confirmed to the New Edinburgh News that while Metro has purchased the 2.32 acre property on Beechwood Avenue between Charlevoix and Loyer Streets, the company will not be pursuing any rezoning of the property. Metro does own other locations in both Ontario and Quebec, and since this location came up for sale, they felt this was a good asset for the company to own. As of mid-January, Shawn has confirmed there are no other plans relating to the store footprint or changes to existing inventory. Of note, the lot in question does not include the gas station on the corner of Beechwood and Charlevoix.
Metro renovated the store interior extensively in 2017. Shawn explained, “through that renovation, we added a wide variety of equipment and design elements to expand some of our programs and further enhance the customer shopping experience.” I personally have certainly noticed these enhancements, which made a huge difference to the overall shopping experience and improved the layout and presentation of products.
In hindsight, thank goodness this was all done before the pandemic, which might have delayed the entire renovation process.
Shawn added, “Like everyone, we have found the past two years extremely challenging at times. My team and I have worked hard to ensure our customers felt safe and comfortable. Even as various restrictions have ebbed and flowed, we wanted our customers to still enjoy their shopping experience at Metro, just as before the pandemic.” Shawn also noted: “we wanted customers to feel they could count on Metro to be there through it all, as a reliable and trustworthy business in the community that would meet their grocery needs.”
From a health and safety perspective, Shawn says, “As hard as it has been to work on the front lines, to adapt quickly and to pivot on a dime during this pandemic, my staff and I are touched by and extremely grateful for how supportive and understanding our customers have been during these difficult times.”
I think I can speak for many that we are also extremely grateful to have Metro planted firmly on Beechwood Avenue, right in the heart of multiple communities. We are also grateful that Shawn and the team have worked long hours to ensure our grocery needs are met, while keeping everyone safe. Special thanks to the team at Metro Beechwood: we breathe a sigh of relief to know they will continue to be there long-term!
Karen Squires is a member of the board of the New Edinburgh Community Alliance.