Loblaw Takes On All Competitors

Feb 11, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Loblaw’s is on a roll. The Toronto Star reports that Canada’s largest supermarket chain grew total sales 7.4 percent and profits by 29 percent last year. Same store sales for the chain were up five percent and it claimed to be gaining “market share at the expense of competitors.”

The company said that it was fairing well despite the entry of Sam’s Clubs into the Canadian market.

Galen Weston, chairman, Loblaw Cos. said, “I think we’ve got a fantastic program of large store development. I think we’re in a position where we could spend as much money as we could possibly generate, and a lot more, in the big stores, owning them as we do. That’s going to be our major opportunity and where we put our future.”

Loblaw is also taking steps to stem dollar store competition. The chain plans to begin offering non-food items often found in dollar stores in its own stores within the next eight weeks.

Moderator’s Comment: How would you define Loblaw’s
response to competition? What thoughts do you have on the chain’s challenges
and successes?

Loblaw’s appears to be practicing “homeopathic style retailing”
with a like for like response to competition. Fight dollar stores with dollar
store items. Fight warehouse clubs with 120,000 square foot stores selling everything
from jeans to food. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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