The Safeway store in Whitefish plans to close Sept. 1 for an eight-month, $17 million remodeling and expansion project.
Store officials had planned to stay open during the remodeling, but decided to close in the interest of employee and customer safety.
When the store reopens in May 2009, it will have an expanded organic-food section, a hearth-oven bakery and a Starbucks coffee kiosk. It will be more than 22,000 square feet larger than the existing store.
During the closure, Safeway’s 57 Whitefish employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits. They are guaranteed to get their jobs back when the store reopens. Safeway spokeswoman Cherie Myers says 50 more employees will be hired when the store reopens.
The pharmacy will remain open in a trailer north of the existing store.
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