Loblaw Cos. has purchased prescription files from 95 pharmacies operated by Canadian mass merchandise chain Zellers Inc.

Loblaw, Zellers, prescription files, Zellers pharmacies, Target Corp. Canada, mass merchandise chain, Michael Lovsin, Hudson's Bay Co., Target Canada, pharmacy business, pharmacy franchise

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Loblaw acquires Rx files from 95 Zellers pharmacies

March 26th, 2012

BRAMPTON, Ontario – Loblaw Cos. has purchased prescription files from 95 pharmacies operated by Canadian mass merchandise chain Zellers Inc.

Food and drug retailer Loblaw said Friday that the Zellers pharmacies involved in the $35 million (Canadian) deal are located nationwide and all are near one of the nearly 500 Loblaw banner pharmacies.

The deal leaves Zellers with 99 pharmacies.

"Our goal is to be the No. 1 one nutrition and health destination in Canada. We feed more Canadians than any other grocery retailer in the country, and with this comes responsibility to help them make healthier food and lifestyle choices. Our pharmacy business plays an important role in this effort," Michael Lovsin, senior vice president of health and wellness at Loblaw, said in a statement. "This purchase offers an unprecedented opportunity for the continued growth of our pharmacy business."

Loblaw pharmacies are under such store banners as Loblaws, Loblaw greatfood, Zehrs, Zehrs greatfood, Fortinos, Real Canadian Superstore, nofrills, valu-mart, Atlantic Superstore, Save-Easy, Provigo, Maxi & Cie, Extra Foods, Wholesale Club, Your Independent Grocer, SuperValu and Dominion locations in Newfoundland only.

Most store sites of Zellers, part of Hudson's Bay Co., were sold to U.S. discounter Target Corp. early last year. Target expects to open 100 to 150 Target stores throughout Canada in 2013 and 2014.

Early last month, Target announced its pharmacy strategy for its planned Canadian stores, saying it aims to operate pharmacies in as many stores in Canada as possible. Instead of taking over the current ­Zellers Rx operations, Target's plans call for a new pharmacy franchise model that will allow pharmacist-owners to own and operate pharmacy businesses inside Target Canadian stores.

Zellers said in a statement Friday, "Following the announcement of the sale of files from 95 Zellers pharmacy locations in Canada to Loblaw, Zellers reaffirms its commitment to ensuring continuity of care to all its pharmacy patients, including its remaining 99 pharmacies, which include locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia."