The inspiration behind Loblaw’s new Toronto flagship

Date : 13 September 2020

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Loblaw has opened a new store in the historic West Block building in the heart of Toronto. Built in 1928, this site formerly housed the first Loblaws Groceterias warehouse.

Moving the Inspire programme forward

Based on Loblaw’s Inspire format programme, the Loblaws banner store is a testament to the progress which the retailer continues to make with fresh and prepared foods. The Inspire programme was launched almost nine years ago with the opening of its now-iconic store at Maple Leaf Gardens in the city. This ushered in a new wave of format development at the retailer, enabling it to create a differentiated position in the supermarket channel.


Source: Loblaw

The building provides a stunning backdrop to the best of Loblaw’s food offer. The brick façade of the building was dismantled and reassembled brick-by-brick and stone-by-stone, placing each in its original position.

Source: Loblaw

Commenting on the launch, Loblaw’s executive chairman, Galen Weston, said,

“When the building first opened in 1928 it was hailed as the most modern warehouse of its kind. Our task was to reconstruct a space that represents Loblaw’s exciting future and properly captures the essence of both its history, and that of the city. Brick by brick and stone by stone, West Block’s historic façade has been restored so it once again becomes a destination within the community.”

Source: Loblaw

One of the new features showcased at the store is Pane Fresco, offering prepared meals, pizzas, pastries and breads. The store also offers the retailer’s PC Express ecommerce service.

Source: Loblaw

The existing building has been remodelled to include retail, office and residential space. For Loblaw, the opening of the store fuses its history and its current journey as one of the world’s leading food retail innovators. The office space will house more than 1,100 digital economy workers, including teams from Loblaw Digital, PC Optimum and PC Financial.

Source: Loblaw

In addition to the Loblaws store, it also features the retailer’s drugstore operation, Shoppers Drug Mart, and its clothing business, Joe Fresh, through standalone sites. The Shoppers Drug Mart offers in-person and digital pharmacy services, along with a Beauty Boutique featuring an expanded range of beauty brands. The Joe Fresh store is the new flagship location for the brand, with elevated merchandising fixtures, friction-free checkouts and smart mirrors in the fitting rooms.

Source: Loblaw

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