Real Estate News Exchange (RENX)
c/o Squall Inc.
P.O. Box 1484, Stn. B
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6
Canada: 1-855-569-6300

Loblaw says it will open 40 new stores, invest $2B in Canada in '24

Food, pharmacy retail company made similar commitment in early 2023

A Loblaws store in Ottawa. (Google Maps)
A Loblaws store in Ottawa. (Google Maps)

Two days before releasing its 2023 year-end financial report, Canadian grocery and retail pharmacy giant Loblaw Companies Inc. has issued a release stating it will invest $2 billion into its operations and open 40 new stores during 2024.

The Toronto-based firm announced Tuesday morning it will relocate or expand 10 additional stores and renovate 700 of its 2,500 locations across the country. Loblaw (L-T) claims this will create approximately 7,500 jobs.

The four-paragraph release contains no information about the new store locations. Although it does state the new openings will be discount stores, there are few other details in the announcement.

As with most retail jobs announcements, it also contains no information about how many of the jobs will be full-time and how many will be part-time.

"This year, we are investing where Canadians need it most. We will introduce more than 40 new discount stores and 140 new pharmacy care clinics in communities across the country – making health care and affordable food more accessible to more people," Per Bank, the president and CEO of Loblaw, said in the announcement. 

"These investments in Canada are a catalyst for job growth and the creation of countless opportunities, in our stores, in our company and with the many partners who work with us."

Loblaw is to release its year-end financial report at 6:30 a.m., on Thursday, then hold its usual conference call and webcast with analysts and investors at 10 a.m. that morning.

The 2023 pledge: 38 new stores, $2B investment

In early 2023, Loblaw released a similar statement pledging to open 38 new stores during the year, with about two-thirds being new pharmacy locations. It also pledged to invest a similar amount, $2 billion, and claimed it would convert or renovate an additional 600 stores.

In its Q3 2023 financials, Loblaw stated it had opened 20 new food and retail stores, while closing 11 food and retail stores, during the previous 12 months. That period would also have included Q4 2022. The net increase in retail space during the 12-month period was reported as approximately 300,000 square feet.

How many new stores it ended up opening in 2023 will be reported in its year-end data.

The company does not state in Tuesday’s announcement whether it plans to close any of its existing locations during 2024.

It does say, however, the company has invested approximately $10 billion in Canada since 2016.

Canada’s grocery chains have come under significant scrutiny during the past couple of years as food prices - and retail chain profits - have increased and contributed to higher inflation.

Loblaw and Walmart, in particular, were called out last week by a parliamentary committee investigating the higher prices because the firms have stated they will not sign a voluntary, industry-created code of conduct.

The code is designed to create a new set of guidelines for negotiations between Canada’s grocers and their suppliers. Loblaw and Walmart claim the guidelines could actually lead to further increases in prices.

Loblaw operates Canada’s largest retail network including food, pharmacy, beauty, apparel and financial services under numerous banners: President's Choice, No Name, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, T&T, Joe Fresh, PC Express and PC Financial. 

Industry Events