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Canadian retailer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. plans to invest about $1 billion into its domestic retail business in 2016, with the balance invested by Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, a Toronto-based company in which Loblaw is the majority unitholder. Using the funds, the retailer will undertake construction projects on about 50 new stores and 150 renovations to existing stores, ramped-up e-commerce expansion, and IT infrastructure and supply chain projects.
Further, Choice plans to invest in the growth, development and quality of its retail real estate portfolio, including the construction of about 730,000 square feet of gross leasable area.
Loblaw boasts Canada's largest network of corporate and independently owned retail stores – more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations, each employing between 20 and 300 workers. The investment is expected to create almost 20,000 jobs through store staffing and construction.
“We continue to invest in our business in ways that matter for the Canadian economy and the millions of Canadians who shop with us each week,” noted Galen G. Weston, executive chairman and president of Brampton, Ontario-based Loblaw. “Our investment will create local jobs and bring nutrition and wellness solutions closer to home.”
Loblaw’s retail locations include more than 1,050 grocery stores that run the gamut from discount to specialty formats; more than 1,250 full-service pharmacies; and more than 500 Loblaw stores.