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TORONTO -- Loblaw Cos., Ltd., based here, said it would eliminate 800 to 1,000 jobs at its corporate and regional offices as part of an ongoing realignment of its major retail and merchandising functions and processes across all of its geographic regions. The work force reduction will not affect store or distribution center employees.
Loblaw's new management team said it is implementing a leaner and more responsive organizational structure and related business processes to ensure that the company adapts more quickly to the changing needs of its customers and improves the support that it provides to its stores.
The major aspects of the transition will take place over the next nine months. "We are a customer service business," said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw's executive chairman. "We need to simplify our business processes to ensure consistent execution at the store level, which will benefit our customers and our store employees, by providing them with the items they want, when they want them, at great value. This change is about making sure we support our store team more effectively, and about creating a leaner and more responsive organization that moves more quickly."
Weston continued: "While it is difficult to have to reduce the number of people who work at the company, it is an essential step in ensuring this company maintains its position as Canada's leading retailer."
The expected costs of these actions including severance, retention, restructuring, and other costs, will be in the range of $150 million to $200 million pre-tax. The company expects to take a charge in the first quarter of 2007 that will reflect the applicable portion of these costs.
Loblaw is Canada's largest food distributor and a leading provider of general merchandise products, drug store items, and financial products and services.