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Loblaw Eyes Expanded Food Offer in Shoppers

TORONTO — Loblaw envisions adding more grab-and-go foods to the Shoppers Drug Mart stores it has agreed to acquire, the company said in a conference call with analysts on Monday.


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“We did a very in-depth study on what the food proposition would look like [in a Shoppers drug store],” said Vicente Trius, president of Loblaw, noting that the company merchandised a mock store to test the layout.

“We kept all of the core from Shoppers Drug Mart, and we looked at how we can actually leverage the space that they had in food,” he explained. “We feel that we can put a very, very compelling offer based on fresh ready meals, frozen convenience food and healthy products — imagine going to a store and being able to do a very basic, full grocery shop.”

As reported on Monday, Loblaw has agreed to acquired Shoppers Drug Mart — Canada’s largest drug store chain with about 1,300 locations — for about $11.9 billion.

“This transaction will enable us to offer Loblaw's portfolio of market-leading brands and convenient food and grocery products through Shoppers Drug Mart's store network,” Galen G. Weston, Loblaw’s executive chairman said in the conference call. “Likewise, we will begin to offer Shoppers Drug Mart’s respected wellness brands and pharmacy services in Loblaw's stores.”

He also said the combined companies would seek to leverage their respective loyalty programs, and are eying $300 million in buying synergies for cost of goods sold.

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