Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Canada's largest food distributor, announced that its subsidiary, Loblaws Inc., had purchased all of the common shares of Richmond, BC-based T&T Supermarket Inc., one of Canada's larger Asian food retailers, for $225 million (Canadian).
According to a press release issued July 24 by T&T Supermarket Inc., "T&T Supermarket began operations in 1993 and now operates 17 stores in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and four distribution centers, three in Vancouver and the other in Toronto. T&T Supermarket offers a robust Asian food offering with emphasis on fresh and ready to consume meals."
"Some of our customers have a nickname for us -- The Asian Loblaw -- and today we are proud it has become a reality," Cindy Lee, chief executive officer of T&T Supermarket Inc., said in the press release.
"This acquisition recognizes all of our employees' hard work over the years and the great business we have built. Together with Loblaw, we will continue to celebrate our authenticity while maintaining and enhancing our customers' shopping experience. With the strong backing of Loblaw and the commitment of our employees, we look forward to continued growth and effectively serving Asian food to even more families across Canada."
"We are delighted with this acquisition," Galen G. Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., said in the press release. "T&T's talented management team and colleagues have developed what we believe are the best Asian stores in Canada, which will be used to help Loblaw extend its ethnic offering to better serve Canada's largest growing customer segment."
The press release noted that Loblaws has more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores in Canada from coast to coast and employs over 139,000 full-time and part-time employees. Its banners include Loblaws, Loblaw Great Food, Zehrs, Zehrs Great Food, Fortinos, Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaw Superstore, valu-mart, Your Independent Grocer, Atlantic Superstore, Maxi, Maxi & Cie, no frills, Provigo and Extra Foods.
"Canada has an attractive, high-growth ethnic market, particularly the Asian ethnicity, which represents the fastest-growing segment of the population," Inge van den Berg, Loblaw's senior vice president of corporate affairs, told The Produce News. "This presents significant growth opportunities for Loblaw, through its acquisition of T&T Supermarket and in continuing to provide ethnic offerings at Loblaw Companies Limited banner stores. T&T Supermarket and Loblaw Companies Limited will operate as separate divisions. It remains business as usual for both companies."