Loblaw Companies Ltd. recently announced a friendly $12.4-billion deal to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart. Shoppers will retain its brand name and operate as a separate division of Loblaw. Loblaw products, such as their private label President’s Choice, will be available in Shoppers stores, while some of the pharmacy retailer’s products and services, such as Life brands, will be available in the grocery retailer’s stores. The purchase of Shoppers is part of a bigger plan to give the company a larger share of urban consumers looking for convenience.
The first Loblaw Groceterias Inc. store opened in 1919 and was the first grocery store to offer a self-serve, cash-and-carry retail experience. It quickly became a hit with shoppers as it offered quality goods at lower prices. By 1928 the company expands throughout Ontario and into the U.S., and in 1939 the name Loblaws replaces the name Loblaw Groceterias on store fronts. In 1947 W. Garfield Weston, president of George Weston Limited, acquires 100,000 shares of Loblaw stock from company co-founder J. Milton Cork and proceeds to take the company to new heights.The 1950s sees store sizes expand and large parking lots are built to accomodate suburban consumers. In 1972 W.Galen Weston is appointed Chief Executive Officer and makes more exciting changes by redesigning stores and the Loblaw logo.The No Name Brand is introduced in 1978, and No Frills stores, President's Blend Coffee, the President's Choice product line, the Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie appear in subsequent years. And now, with Galen Weston at the helm, Loblaws has begun yet another new chapter in it's 100 year history by changing the Canadian retail landscape.
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