Shoppers Drug Mart parent is targeting investments

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BRAMPTON, Ontario — Loblaw Cos., the parent of Canada’s largest supermarket and pharmacy chains, including Shoppers Drug Mart, plans to invest more than $1.2 billion (Canadian) in its business in 2015.

The money will fund new stores and renovations, as well as an expansion of Loblaw’s e-commerce capabilities and improvements to supply chain and information technology ­infrastructure.

“While we continue to invest in the IT and infrastructure engines of our business, we’re increasingly making investments that Canadians will see with their own eyes — improving our offer, adding stores and creating jobs locally,” said Loblaw executive chairman and president Galen Weston. “True to our strategy, our investment will create better access to fresh food, wellness solutions closer to home, e-commerce convenience, and a family of stores that elevate grocery, pharmacy, apparel and banking experiences.”

Weston noted in a recent conference call that Loblaw has built its strategy around the idea of helping Canadians “live life well.” That strategy includes a focus on food. Loblaw recently expanded its Presidents Choice store brand program to include more fresh food categories, and rolled out 800 of the products across its Shoppers Drug Mart network.

“Our strategy also calls on us to deliver the best health and beauty proposition available to Canadians,” Weston told analysts. “This includes strong convenience-driven growth in our front of store, and continued innovation in our beauty departments.”

In pharmacy the aim is to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs. Weston cited the recent opening of a first-of-its-kind Patient Contact Centre, which calls patients to help improve medication compliance.



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