Loblaw implements $1B retail makeover

Loblaw, Canada's largest grocer, has announced plans to spend $1.2 billion to refresh its retail stores, which includes improving its food assortment and building new locations.

Slated for 2015, the Canadian supermarket chain plans to open 50 new stores under Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart banners, bringing the company's brick-and-mortar total to 2,300 locations around Canada, reported the Financial Post. The plan includes renovating more than 100 stores, creating approximately 5,000 new jobs in the stores and stimulating 15,000 construction and trade jobs.

Last year the company opened 22 corporate and franchise stores, in addition to closing 12 stores and divesting from two.

A majority of the company's capital expenditures in 2015 will be spent on retail. Finances will also go toward e-commerce expansion and IT infrastructure.

Loblaw and other Canadian retailers have been facing tough competition from U.S. retailers including Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), reported Reuters. Loblaw launched a click-and-collect grocery program last fall, similar to the one being piloted by Walmart, as it prepares to compete. The company is expected to benefit from Target's recently announced plans to abandon its Canadian presence.

For more:
-See this Reuters article
-See this Financial Post article

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