Canada's Loblaw to open over 50 stores, create 5,000 in-store jobs

Mon Mar 9, 2015 1:01pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Loblaw Cos Ltd (L.TO: Quote), Canada's largest grocer, said on Monday that it would open more than 50 stores and renovate more than 100 in 2015, creating 5,000 in-store jobs.

The company, which operates under banners such as No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart and Wholesale Club, had announced earlier that it would invest more than C$1.2 billion ($952.1 million) in its domestic business this year.

The investment will also stimulate about 15,000 construction and trade jobs, said Kevin Groh, Loblaw's vice president of corporate affairs and communication.

Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw has about 192,000 full- and part-time employees.

Loblaw and other Canadian retailers, such as Canadian Tire Corp Ltd (CTCa.TO: Quote) and Empire Co (EMPa.TO: Quote), have been facing stiff competition from U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N: Quote) and Inc (AMZN.O: Quote).

But these retailers are widely expected to benefit from Target Corp's (TGT.N: Quote) announcement in January that it would exit from Canada.

Wal-Mart said last month it would invest about C$340 million to expand in Canada this year.

Groh said the new stores Loblaw had planned for 2015 were "independent of our consideration of any Target sites."

Loblaw's investment includes e-commerce expansion and continued investment in supply chain and IT infrastructure, the company said in a statement.   Continued...

People walk by a Loblaw Companies Limited grocery store with a Joe Fresh clothing store inside, on the day of the annual general meeting of shareholders in Toronto, May 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch