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    Loblaw to Convert Seven Essex County Stores

    The idea is to enhance the shopping experience in the area, according to the grocer.

    Loblaw Cos., Ltd said yesterday that it would "significantly invest" in seven of its stores in southwestern Ontario's Essex County over the next 12 months to "revitalize and improve shopping experiences" there.

    "These conversions will provide Essex County customers with a broader selection of shopping alternatives, while enhancing product freshness, customer service and in-store shopping experiences," the grocer said.

    Among the store format changes: Zehrs Dougall Avenue will convert to the Superstore concept; Zehrs Malden Road, St. Clair Beach, Parkway Mall, and Kingsville will all convert to the upmarket Zehrs Great Foods format; and Zehrs Essex and Tilbury will convert to the No Frills discount concept.

    In a recent conference call, the company said that it was stepping up its ongoing turnaround program by such measures as improving food offerings and service at its stores.

    A subsidiary of George Weston, Ltd., Brampton, Ont.-based Loblaw is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of general merchandise products, drugstore and financial products and services. The company is also one of the largest private sector employees in Canada, with over 140,000 full-time and part-time associates at more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores across the country.

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