Langley City IGA store to close

The IGA in Langley Mall, a fixture since 1996, is to close at the end of August. - Natasha Jones/Langley Times
The IGA in Langley Mall, a fixture since 1996, is to close at the end of August.
— image credit: Natasha Jones/Langley Times

In what is certain to be a huge blow to the hundreds of seniors living in the vicinity, the IGA in Langley Mall is to close.

Store owner Robert Lee confirmed on Friday, May 25 that he will not renew his lease and will close the store on Aug. 31.

“Although our customers have been very supportive, we cannot continue to operate a viable business within this particular market area,” he said.

Lee promised that it will be “business as usual” at his Langley Mall store, and all coupons and promotions will be honoured until Aug. 31.

The IGA opened at the Langley Mall location, which had previously been occupied by Super Valu, on March 5, 1996. For a while the store made home deliveries, but the service was abandoned when it became not viable financially.

Lee said that his staff were advised of the plans in a meeting, and in a personal letter from him on May 18. He said he can give no guarantees that they will be able to find work at the company’s other stores: in Murrayville, Fernridge, Fort Langley and Walnut Grove.

The closure of the Langley Mall IGA is the second blow to both the owners and customers: The Fort Langley IGA was destroyed by fire on Jan. 4, 2011. A new store is expected to be finished by the autumn.

The Langley Mall store is convenient for seniors in nearby apartments to reach on foot or on their scooters, but for many the closest grocery, stores, Price Smart on Fraser Highway at 201A Street, and Safeway at Fraser Highway and 208 Street, will be too far to reach.

The IGA had also become a gathering place for seniors but that social activity in Langley Mall suffered when the mall owners decided several years ago to build an open air shopping centre. The mall concourse east of Army and Navy, and the main entrance, have no roof, deterring socializing when the weather is cold and wet.

Mayor Peter Fassbender indicated on Monday that the wait for an IGA replacement may not be long.

“It’s sad for all the people in the area who have used the IGA for so many years,” he said, “but I’m confident that there will be something to replace. It as my understanding from the landlord is that they are in final negotiations for a food store.”

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