Loblaw cuts 500 jobs, plans to reinvest in e-commerce

(Dave Bedard photo)

Toronto | Reuters — Grocery chain Loblaw Co. Ltd. is cutting about 500 jobs across the company, and plans to reinvest the savings into digital and e-commerce services, the company said on Monday.

The job cuts, which began on Monday and make up 0.25 per cent of the Toronto-based company’s workforce, will apply to executive and management positions, but will not affect store-level employees, company spokesman Kevin Groh said.

Shares for Loblaw — whose retail banners include Loblaws, Superstore, Extra Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart among others — eased 0.4 per cent to end at $68.90, while the Toronto stock benchmark closed flat.

The job cuts add to the gloom gripping the Canadian retail sector, where more nimble online operators have clawed market share from traditional brick-and-mortar operators.

Sears Canada received court approval to start liquidation last week, resulting in the loss of 12,000 jobs.

Grocery operator Metro Inc. last week said it would cut 180 full-time and 100 part-time jobs as part of an effort to modernize and automate part of its distribution network following its decision to buy pharmacy chain Jean Coutu Group for $4.5 billion.

Metro said it will invest $400 million over six years beginning in 2018 to automate its distribution network.

“The future is digital and that’s not lost on us, the need to make significant investment in omni-channel and e-commerce,” Groh said, declining to reveal how much the company would save from the cuts.

— Nichola Saminather is a Reuters reporter covering the retail and real estate sectors from Toronto.


Stories from our other publications