Founded in 1919, Loblaws supermarket is one of the main players in the Canadian supermarket and grocery industry. Loblaws founders, Theodore Pringle Loblaw and J. Milton Cork, were pioneers in the introduction of self-serve and cash-and-carry grocery retailing in Canada. Expanding rapidly, there are now over 2,000 Loblaws stores in Canada. As of 2015, Loblaws (corporate and franchise) accounted for approximately 20.8 percent of grocery space square footage in Canada, leading the ranking. Second-place went to Sobeys & Safeway, with a 19.1 percent share. Other stores Canadian consumers use regularly to shop for groceries include Walmart, Costco, No Frills, and Real Canadian SuperStore. Maxi, IGA, and Metro are also popular stores for food and beverage products that directly compete with Loblaws in Canada.
Since 1953, the supermarket chain has been a market division of Loblaw Companies Limited, headquartered in Brampton, Ontario. Revenue of Loblaw Companies Limited in Canada has increased over the last few years, rising from about 31.6 billion Canadian dollars in 2012 to 45.4 billion Canadian dollars in 2015. In recent years, the group’s assets have also shown growth, reaching a peak in 2015, when the group had total assets amounting to nearly 34 billion Canadian dollars. Nonetheless, the selling, general and administrative expenses of Loblaw slightly increased over the years as well. In 2013, Loblaw's selling, general, and administrative expenses amounted to 6.35 billion Canadian dollars. This figure increased to nearly 11 billion Canadian dollars in 2015.
Loblaw Companies has six independent divisions, including Shoppers Drug Mart, one of the leading pharmacy chains in Canada. Founded in 1962 by pharmacist Murry Koffler, the first Shoppers Drug Mart store revolutionized retail pharmacy by combining mass merchandizing and self-service. Headquartered in North York, Toronto, the pharmacy retailer was acquired by Loblaw Companies in 2014. There are more than 1,300 stores throughout Canada, including 627 stores in Ontario, as of 2015. Quebec ranks second with 176 stores followed by British Columbia. Annual drug sales for Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada saw an increase between 2014 and 2015, growing from just over nine million Canadian dollars in 2014 to nearly 12 million Canadian dollars the following year. In 2015, front store sales accounted for just over half of all Shoppers Drug Mart sales in Canada, amounting to approximately 6.25 million Canadian dollars in revenue. Front stole sales include traditionally non-pharmacy products, such as food and cosmetics.
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