Loblaws

Loblaws Inc. is a Canadian supermarket chain with stores located in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Loblaws is a subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada's largest food distributor.[2]

Loblaws Inc.
Subsidiary
IndustryRetail
Founded1919
FoundersTheodore Loblaw
J. Milton Cork
HeadquartersBrampton, Ontario [1]
ProductsAlcoholic beverages (Québec and Ontario; wine has been added to some branches in British Columbia), General Grocery, General Merchandise, Pharmacy, and Photolab
BrandsPresident's Choice
ParentLoblaw Companies
Subsidiaries
Websitewww.loblaws.ca

History

Loblaws was founded by Theodore Loblaw and John Milton Cork in 1919. In 1947, Garfield Weston struck a deal to acquire a block of 100,000 shares of Loblaw Groceterias Co. Limited, one of the country's leading supermarket chains[3] By 1953, George Weston Limited had established majority control. Loblaws stores used to operate across Canada until the early 1960s, when most locations in western Canada were rebranded as SuperValu, and later as Real Canadian Superstore. The company also once operated stores in upstate New York, Northwest Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio. These were sold to Bells Markets in the mid-1970s. Some of the Loblaws stores in northwestern Pennsylvania continued operation into the early 1990s. What is likely the final empty Loblaws building in New York, in Johnstown/Gloversville, was demolished in 2015, having been standing empty since the chain's departure in the 1970s, even with the name still on the sign, showing no reuse of the site.

Retail sales and earnings were in decline in 1970s as Loblaws’ aging chain of supermarkets looked increasingly uncompetitive.[4] The company also initiated a broad marketing strategy that saw a prototype store renovated and remodelled in new colours and a new Loblaws logo. Actor William Shatner did a number of television commercials for Loblaws in the 1970s, and finished the ad spots by saying originally "Come on over to Loblaws" and "At Loblaws, more than the price is right; but, by gosh the price is right!", later shortened to "At Loblaws, more than the price is right."

In 1996, in addition to revitalizing the look of its stores, Loblaw management earmarked $40 million for the development of its in-house, private label program.[5]

Beginning in 2008, some new and renovated Loblaws stores were given a new store format and were named "Loblaw Great Food", dropping the red-orange curved-L logo. Stores under this banner are also subject to slightly different collective-agreement terms with the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union representing Loblaw employees. The chain's location on the site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, opened in late 2011, is promoted as simply Loblaws and uses the familiar "L" logo, but is officially named "Loblaws Great Food", indicating that similar terms are in place at that store.[6] On July 19, 2013, Loblaws introduced their new concept "Loblaws CityMarket" in British Columbia (in North Vancouver, Richmond and Vancouver). Loblaws CityMarkets are now operational in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. On July 23, 2015, Loblaws announced the planned closure of 52 non-profitable stores over the following year.[7] Loblaws offers a grocery pickup service called PC Express where customers can order groceries online and select a time slot to pick up their orders.[8]

The rewards program used at Loblaws is PC Optimum which allows customers to accumulate points from purchases of certain items to be used in increments of ten dollars on purchases.

Bread price-fixing scandal

In December 2017, Loblaws and George Weston Limited disclosed to the Competition Bureau that it had arranged to fix the price of bread from 2000 to 2014. In response, the chain offered a $25 gift card to Canadian customers as a gesture of goodwill, but was met with public backlash over its restrictions and lack of remorse.[9][10]

See also

References

  1. "Loblaws - Profile". Zoominfo.com. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. "Loblaws Inc". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  3. Honderich, Beland (October 4, 1947). "World's baking king now Canada's biggest grocer". Toronto Daily Star.
  4. "The summit meeting that changed course for giant Loblaw", Toronto Star, Toronto, January 25, 1973
  5. A celebration of Loblaw Companies Limited, Toronto: Canadian Grocer, 1996
  6. UFCW Local 1000A (2011-11-30). "New Loblaws Great Food Opens at Historic Maple Leaf Gardens Site". Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  7. "Loblaws closing 52 unprofitable stores over next 12 months". CBC News. July 23, 2015. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  8. "Online Grocery Shopping at Loblaws | Loblaws". www.loblaws.ca. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  9. Sagan, Aleksandra (December 22, 2017). "Loblaw hit with backlash over response to bread price-fixing scheme". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  10. Strauss, Marina (January 8, 2018). "Loblaw's bread-fixing gift card assailed as 'deceitful public relations' campaign". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
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