Every banner owned by Loblaw (that I can think of)

Loblaw Companies Ltd Logo
Categories: Jacob's Mind, Loblaw Companies Ltd, Shop

Loblaw is one of the largest grocery store companies in Canada, with a mess of current and former banners. Here is a list of all the different banners they have (and have had) to the best of my knowledge.

Current Banners

BannerTerritoryNotes
LoblawsGreater Toronto Area, Eastern Ontario, LondonMost Loblaws stores have the “Great Food” moniker tacked onto the end of the store’s name. This stems from the Great Food union contract the company forced collectively bargained with their employees starting in 2008. This title is merely there to denote the type of union contract the store has and fell out of favour by the early 2010s. The banner is simply refereed to as Loblaws nowadays (but that “great” contract lives on).
ZehrsSouthwestern Ontario, Niagara Most Zehrs locations are branded as Zehrs Markets, although some have the Great Food banner for … reasons.
No FrillsCanada (Excluding Quebec)Franchised discount banner. This banner is of particular note as it started the hard discount grocer model in Canada, leading to some of the big chains we know and love today: FreshCo, FoodBasics, RCSS, and of course No Frills.
Valu-MartRural Ontario, Urban Toronto/KW (and one store in Quebec near the Ontario border)Franchised, small form factor, rural/inner city stores.
Your Independent Grocer (Independent)Mostly in Eastern Ontario, parts of Southwestern Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and Western CanadaFranchised, larger form factor stores which feature a design similar to Loblaws stores. Think of this banner as Loblaws but franchised!
Fortinos Brampton, Halton, Hamilton, Toronto,
York
Loblaws but Italian. The banner is completely franchised and features an expanded fresh and ready made foods section, greater than most other Loblaw banners.
T&TCanadaLoblaws but Asian. Interestingly this banner operates completely independently from the rest of the company (and doesn’t take PC Optimum either).
Real Canadian SuperstoreWestern Canada and Ontario“Hypermarket” stores. Discount banner.
Extra FoodsWestern Canada and Northern OntarioSlowly dying as a brand as Loblaws converts this banner to RCSS or No Frills.
Atlantic SuperstoreAtlantic Canada (excluding NL)Somewhat of a “hypermarket” banner. These stores are just larger form factor grocery stores similar to most Loblaws locations. Interestingly despite sharing the “Superstore” name, this banner is not considered to discount by corporate, and is instead in the “market” fold with Loblaws and Zehrs.
FreshMartOntarioThese stores are NOT franchised instead they’re independently owned and operated. These store owners are licensed by Loblaw to use the banner and purchase products wholesale to sell locally. Loblaw also makes the weekly flyer. Beyond this, the stores do everything else themselves, including when to buy goods, what goods to buy, and even what points programme to operate (in fact some FreshMarts have their own loyalty programmes and do not take PC Optimum).
SuperValuWestern CanadaFranchised. This banner is basically dead.
ShopEasyWestern CanadaLike SuperValu it’s franchised and basically dead.
DominionNewfoundland and Labrador Dominion stores which were spun off in the mid-80s as an independent chain which Loblaw subsequently gobbled up.
ProvigoQuebecLoblaws but French. Was purchased by Loblaw in the late 90s. All Loblaws branded stores in the province were converted to Provigo sometime in the early 2010s. What’s really interesting is that unlike the rest of the company some Provigo locations are franchised while others are corporate owned. This is strange as Loblaw does not like to have partially franchised / corporate owned banners.
Maxi / Maxi&CieQuebecNo Frills but French.
Wholesale ClubCanadaCostco if Loblaw ran it. A store which focuses on selling items to restaurants wholesale. Contrary to popular belief you do NOT need a membership to shop here.
Club EntrepôtQuebecWholesale Club but French.
Shoppers Drug MartCanadaIf you’re a Canadian you know this chain. Pharmacies both corporate and (mostly) franchised.
PHARMAPRIXQuebecShoppers Drug Mart but French. To adhere to Quebec’s language laws the Shoppers name is different only in la belle province.
Real Canadian LiquorstoreAlberta, SaskatchewanLiquor stores in parts of the country where alcohol sales have been privatized.
Joe FreshCanadaClothes.
CityMarketCanadaThese stores are smaller sized and located in city centres. This banner is tacked onto one of Loblaw’s existing banners (i.e. Loblaws CityMarket or Independent CityMarket).

Former Banners

BannerTerritoryNotes
SaveEasyAtlantic CanadaA franchised chain of supermarkets which were converted to Your Independent Grocer around 2016.
The Box (by No Frills)Alberta, OntarioThe Box was a chain of “hard discount” stores based on principles of Aldi and Lidl in Europe: A low cost, discount store, that primarily stocks in house brands. The Box stores were small, focused on only the essentials, and Loblaw’s in house President’s Choice and No Name brands. The chain opened in 2013 with three locations: Hamilton, Calgary, and Windsor. The chain was unsuccessful and was discontinued in 2017. The location in Windsor became a No Frills.
Loblaw SuperstoreOntarioFor some reason Loblaw had a sub brand of their Real Canadian Superstore chain called Loblaw Superstore. These stores were, by all intensive purposes, Real Canadian Superstores but for some reason they got another name. Sometimes I think corporate just creates banners for fun. It’s also possible it may have had something to do with the union contract. Regardless, these stores are now RCSS.
Loblaw Great FoodOntarioTechnically these stores do exist if the signage on the building is anything to go by [img] however according to corporate this banner is now dead. I think it was created with the whole Great Food union contract in 2008.
mr. grocerOntarioFrom the reminants of Dominion, this banner was purchased by Loblaw sometime in the 1980s. These stores were completely franchised. The banner was phased out and replaced by Your Independent Grocer. Some stores became Wholesale Club. Here’s a local commercial from the mr. grocer era.
Loblaws SuperstoreOntarioDied in the early 1990s. It was the precursor to the current day RCSS. Trying to find any indication this chain ever existed is really difficult with only a few commercials from the time and excellent work from grocery sleuths online to tell us it was ever around.
The Super CentreOntarioAnother precursor to RCSS, dying at the same time as Loblaws Superstores. Most of these stores were converted to other Loblaw banners such as No Frills or Zehrs. Two locations of note are the Kitchener and Brampton locations which are still Loblaw banners to this day.
National GrocersCanadaNational was a chain of grocery stores owned by Loblaw in Canada but was discontinued decades ago in favour of just Loblaws. Technically National Grocers still exists on paper as the owner of a bunch of different Loblaw banners (like Valu-Mart, YIG, Wholesale Club) but it’s just a shell company.
Gordon’sSouthwestern OntarioA chain of supermarkets which operated mostly in the Windsor/Chatham-Kent region of the province. The chain was slowly phased out during the 1980s and 1990s in favour of Zehrs.
PowerTorontoA chain of grocery stores which were purchased by Loblaw in the 1950s and subsequently shut down in the early 1970s (source). This chain appears to be the victim of the 1970s financial crisis Loblaws had. Some Power stores became Loblaws locations (although the chain is so far gone who knows what those original locations are today).
NG Cash and CaryEastern CanadaThis banner is something of an oddity, existing as the precursor for the current day Wholesale Club. The “NG” in the name stands for National Grocers (where have we heard that before?). The chain existed for years until fairly recently (2009-2015) when the stores were converted to Wholesale Club or closed completely. Locations of note include the former Cash and Carry now Wholesale Club in Owen Sound.
National Tea/ Canal VillerieUSAA chain of supermarkets once owned by Loblaw mainly located in the St. Louis and New Orleans parts of the states. This chain was sold of and eventually re-branded in the mid-1990s when Wal-Mart came to Canada and scared the living daylights out of Loblaw, who proceeded to focus only on the Canadian market (which was always their bread and butter anyways). National also operated supermarkets in Chicago and the northeastern United States before selling these stores in the financial crisis of the 1970s.
The Real SuperstoreUSAAn American take on the Loblaws Superstore format. Featuring a store design similar to that of a Loblaws Superstore and a Western Canadian Real Canadian Superstore, this chain of 7 stores lasted until Loblaws got out of the states in the mid-1990s and it appears that people miss it. The location of the store in New Orleans is currently abandoned. Fun fact this New Orleans location was featured in an episode of Forensic Files.
Del FarmChicago, USAThis chain was acquired by Loblaw (through National) in 1958. In the 1960s it was converted to a discount banner akin to No Frills before being discontinued completely in the 1970s in favour of the National brand.
That Stanley!Louisiana, USAA No Frills like, banner from the 1970s.
BellsUpstate New York, USAA chain of franchised stores from the 1970s and 1980s, operated though Loblaw’s “Peter J. Schmitt” division. This chain was divested with the rest of the division in 1988.
ApplebaumsMinnesota, USAOwned by Loblaw for a short time in 1979. Was sold off three years later in 1982.
Tamblyn DrugsOntarioLoblaw’s first foray into the drug store market. Eventually this chain would be sold off in 1978 to Boots, re-branded as such, then sold to Oshawa group who then converted the chain to Pharma Plus.
EconoMartWestern CanadaWikipedia says it existed at one point, but who knows.
Atlantic Cash & CarryAtlantic CanadaLike NG Cash and Carry these wholesale stores were eventually re-branded as Wholesale Club.
Les Entrepôt
Presto
QuebecAccording to Loblaw’s 2006 annual report there was a chain of wholesale stores called Presto. This chain was based out of Quebec, and came under the Loblaw fold after their purchase of Provigo in 1998. It appears that the chain was merged with Club Entrepôt (another chain of wholesale stores in the province owned by Loblaw) in 2005. Some stores retained the Presto branding until around 2019, when it appears that all remaining Prestos were renovated and rebranded as Club Entrepôt.
Lucky Dollar FoodsWestern CanadaFranchised, died sometime. Not much information can be found about this banner.
Red & White Food StoresAtlantic Canada, OntarioFranchised. One of the last locations in Ontario was at 2399 Lakeshore Ave West in Toronto. It was converted to the Valu-Mart banner sometime between 2006 and 2011, which marked the demise of this chain as a whole.
SayvetteOntarioA chain of department stores which were dying when Loblaw purchased them in the 1960s. This purchase did not turn around the brand and by the late 1970s the company was no more. (Source)
Super City Discount FoodOntarioA strange banner which Loblaw had around the 1960s. Good luck finding any information on this banner because it seems to have been scrubbed from the history books. The only reference I can find to this chain comes from this grocery store chart.
Tom BoyWestern CanadaA franchised banner operated through Loblaw’s Westfair Foods division from the 1950s until the mid-1970s.
Econo-MartWestern Canada, OntarioA No Frills like discount banner before No Frills was launched in the late 1970s. Opened in 1968, the banner remained in operation until sometime in the 1970s.
Atlantic GrocerAtlantic CanadaNot much is known about this banner other than that it was franchised and existed sometime in the mid-1990s as per Loblaw’s 1994 annual report [PDF].
OK! EconomyWestern CanadaAgain not much is known about this chain other than it was a corporate banner which was operational in the 1990s as per the 1994 annual report [PDF].
Hasty MarketOntarioA chain of convenience stores opened in 1981. Loblaw owned this chain until 1994 when it was divested due to low profitability and high cost to operate. The chain is still around to this day, instead as an independent company of franchised convenience stores.

Active Shell Companies

These companies are really only still around in name only. They are used by Loblaw to hold various assets such as banners, distribution warehouses, and sometimes property. By all intensive purposes they are Loblaw Companies Limited, but are around for tax reasons if not historical reasons.

CompanyTerritoryNotes
National Grocers Ltd.Eastern OntarioThis company holds certain banners such as Wholesale Club, Valu-Mart, YIG. It also holds ownership of most Loblaw distribution centres in Eastern Ontario.
Westfair FoodsWestern CanadaA holding company for Loblaw’s western operations. They supply goods to all stores west of Ontario.

So there you have it a semi-comprehensive list of every single banner Loblaw owns and has owned. One thing I think that’s interesting about the history of this company is how they shut down or sell so many stores just to do the same thing again later (I mean just look at what happened to the superstore format, they brought it in to Ontario, got rid of it and then 10 years later brought it back).

But I guess you don’t get to become the largest retailer in Canada without making a lot of mistakes…

References and Thank Yous

I’d like to thank the following people/organizations for their work documenting the history of grocery stores in Canada, and their assistance in compiling this list.

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  • Thank You for your share! I am looking for the banners of Loblaw and the details like the target customers. You work saved me a lot of time.

  • Presto Still exists in Quebec- it is their Wholesale club. You forgot about the short lived “The Box” a no frills spin off with a few stores in Ontario- small core assortment stores. Survived maybe a year

    • Ahh drat I totally forgot about The Box, I’ll make sure to include it here.

      As for Presto, it appears to be completely dead. Based on the Google Streeview pics taken for all the currently open Club Entrepôts, they have been rebranded. It’s just the online store finder which still lists some locations as Presto for some reason. I will update my post with this information though!

      Thanks!


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