Loblaw Gets Approval For Shoppers Deal
You know companies are getting big when they have time to host a national event to try and break a Guinness record for the most wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese cracked simultaneously.
But yes, that’s exactly what we had on Saturday. Loblaw banner stores announced it--305 wheels of cheese in 250 participating stores (they broke the record... which apparently existed prior to this; here they are at the Maple Leaf Gardens store). One day earlier, Loblaw got the green light from the Competition Bureau for its $12.4B purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart--provided they sell 18 stores (many of those Shoppers stores) and nine Loblaw-run pharmacies to another company. The company will also have to review some of its supplier practices after competition concerns were raised about pricing programs and other agreements.
Canadian director of CBRE’s retail services group Tom Balkos tells us it’s all part of the “new reality for retailers in Canada.” With some of the most intense competition in the history of Canadian retail, especially dominant US retailers knocking at the door (or more aptly, trying to kick the door down), “scale is important to success and all retailers will have to continue to evolve their brands, operational efficiencies and synergies, and real estate footprints” in order to stay competitive.