Walmart, Costco muscling into Canada’s food retail marketplace

Consumers are benefiting and traditional retailers scrambling as Walmart and Costco drive down prices and increase their market share

Walmart, Costco muscling into Canada’s food retail marketplaceThe evolution of Canada's food retailing industry is being hastened by a pair of American giants. Consumers are the big winners. Reports on the latest Canada consumer price index drew a great deal of attention to falling meat prices. To the delight of barbecue fans, beef, pork and chicken prices have dropped for the first time in…

Loblaws playing hardball with food suppliers

By demanding lower prices, Loblaws is protecting its bottom line but will Canadian consumers really benefit – or even notice?

Loblaws playing hardball with food suppliersLoblaw Companies Ltd. recently sent a letter to major suppliers advising them that it will pay 1.45 per cent less for any shipments received on or after Sept. 4. The tactic signals a major shift in the food retail industry. In food distribution, a decrease of 1.45 per cent is a big deal. Loblaws, as…

Genetically-modified salmon set to hit the market

Labelling regulations need to be modified so consumers have final word on the technology

Genetically-modified salmon set to hit the marketGenetically-modified salmon will soon be on Canada's supermarket shelves, but are retailers and consumers prepared? After four years of testing, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have approved AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically-modified salmon for retail sale in Canada. Given that the mighty U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the same technology six months ago, Canada’s…

Amazon entry into food giving other retailers nightmares

The Canadian grocery marketplace is in for dramatic change, and that should be of benefit to consumers

Amazon entry into food giving other retailers nightmaresE-retailing giant Amazon has signalled a clear commitment to food products – and to millennials – with its new line of private-label foods. Amazon's move to food bearing its label follows in the footsteps of Target and Walmart. And the shift sends a clear signal about greater strategic intentions that should shake the foundations of the food…

Loblaws’ Ketchup Saga proves the consumer is king

The consumer is becoming the true CEO of the food supply chain

Loblaws’ Ketchup Saga proves the consumer is kingThe politics of food distribution is alive and well, or so it would seem. Without notice Loblaws decided to dump French’s Ketchup causing a two-day viral backlash by the public. The pressure was so large that Loblaws actually reversed its decision just a few days after making its decision public. Many are speculating how unfair…

Loblaw’s store closures a smart long-term move

Loblaw's closure of 52 stores is an indication of a major paradigm shift shaking the industry

Loblaw’s store closures a smart long-term moveRecently, Loblaw announced the closure of 52 stores across the country, a surprise to some as the company simultaneously posted a respectable profit. It might strike observers as a kind of corporate oxymoron. But with the sector’s economic picture, coupled with potentially disruptive dangers looming, the decision to close a cluster of stores was appropriate.…

The ugly side of food waste

Everyone wins from Loblaw’s campaign to reposition “imperfect” produce in its stores

The ugly side of food wasteWe waste a lot of food; tons of it, in fact. Indeed, some studies suggest that the overall cost of food waste in our country exceeds $100 billion annually. In response, Loblaw has decided to take action. The company now sells bags of “Naturally Imperfect” apples and potatoes in select grocery stores across Ontario and…

Walmart plan to increase wages an act of brilliance

But fast-food industry – including McDonald’s – won’t be following in its footsteps any time soon

Walmart plan to increase wages an act of brillianceWalmart shareholders were not overly thrilled to learn that the company was planning to increase the salaries of their poorly paid employees in the U.S. Known for its cost-cutting approach and shrewd management methods, the announcement came as a surprise. Given that this soon-to-be-better-paid group includes more than 500,000 people, most of them women, many…

Walmart Supercentres’ food retailing model not quite right

Fall short in attracting Canada’s sophisticated consumer

Walmart Supercentres’ food retailing model not quite rightAs Target prepares to leave Canada, Walmart is marching on with the next installment of its highly aggressive strategy. It recently announced it will invest $340 million this year in converting old stores into Supercentres, even while opening a few brand new stores. Supercentres dedicate much of their real estate to food retailing, a key…

Need for more retail space in decline

Why not rezone it for housing?

Need for more retail space in declineTwenty-first century cities are undergoing a radical transformation, yet our streets and neighbourhoods are still being planned and zoned for a world that no longer exists. Take Vancouver’s retail space. We now have too much retail space and we are going to need less. High-profile closures such as Chapters, Sony and Target are just the…