Loblaw Companies Essay

4391 words - 18 pages

The OrganizationLoblaw Companies, formed in 1921, is Canada's largest wholesale and retail food distributor, with operations across the country through company operated stores (corporate stores), franchised independent stores (franchised stores), associated stores and by servicing independent accounts.63% owned by the George Weston Group, Loblaw's goal is to provide high returns to its shareholders through a combination of share price appreciation and dividends. To this end, it follows a number of operating principles. It concentrates on food retailing with the objective of providing consumers with the best one-stop shopping for everyday household needs. It maintains a significant program of ...view middle of the document...

The mission at Loblaw is, "To build a business that will never know completion, but will advance to continually meet advancing conditions ." Main reasons for the success of so many of Loblaw's ventures could be attributed to their continuity of leadership. For 25 years, Dick Currie, the company's President, has set clear, long-term objectives that have encouraged individual entrepreneurship and delivered years of tremendous growth.Loblaw is also noted for being ahead of the game in terms of leveraging technology and innovation, such as the launch of President's Choice Financial products. Because it created a brand that was perceived by their customers to link high quality with lower prices, Loblaw has been able to apply it to financial services with remarkable success. President's Choice Financial is still in start-up mode, but already has a substantial customer base.It is evident that Loblaw has been putting in a large effort to integrate technology into their everyday business activities. It is an expensive challenge for the company, but a strong, forward-looking company like Loblaw should be looking for such changes since technology integration brings enormous productivity and selling opportunities.Innovation at LoblawTen years ago, nobody outside Canada had heard of President's Choice. Now, the Loblaw label has been franchised to retailers operating more than 1,500 stores in 46 states in the U.S . And even though it no longer is alone in the field of top-quality brands in the U.S., other retailers and wholesalers bringing out similar products of upscale lines will probably never attain the position that President's Choice has in Loblaw's Canadian stores.Loblaw has always been a leader in the food-retailing scene. They were the first to pursue selling national brand products at or below cost while making money on a large assortment of its own labels. What they had to do was control the mix of every category's total sales in high margin retailer-controlled brands to allow them to sell the ever decreasing national brand portion of the category at or below cost. Loblaw first tested the concept in 1993 in some categories at its 43 No Frills limited assortment stores in Toronto. It soon seeped into Loblaw supermarkets next year because the practice worked so well.To survive in the 1990s, Loblaw was quick to realise that retailers had to differentiate themselves with unique products available only at their stores, develop the commitment and marketing skills critical to sell these products; and improve costs, information and organization.Information Technology and Knowledge ManagementThrough the changes that Loblaw has gone through as an organization, the emergence of its success is due to the fact that it realizes it is not just about selling another can of beans. What it focuses on is the understanding that the value of the organization is directly linked to the lifetime value of its customer base. To build business, the company needs to do more...

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