Galen G. Weston outlines Loblaw’s purpose—Live Life Well at Annual General Meeting


I want to conclude with a comment on our company purpose – Live Life Well – which is ultimately anchored in the health and wellbeing of Canadians.

This purpose advanced significantly 13 months ago when Shoppers joined the Loblaw family. The addition brought greater focus to our evolving view that – more than just a grocer, more than just a pharmacy – Loblaw is increasingly becoming a nutrition, health, and wellness provider.

Against a backdrop of provincial health budget cuts, strained services, and a growing need for accessible care and illness prevention, our network of stores offers access and convenience, and our network of pharmacists offer an extended range of services to improve patient outcomes.

Think of the expanding consumer trust this implies.

Loblaw and Shoppers pharmacists administered more than one million flu shots and conducted 700,000 medication reviews last year.

Taking an evolutionary step forward, Shoppers recently opened Canada’s first ever Patient Contact Centre, where 125 pharmacists and assistants have just one job. They proactively call their most vulnerable patients to resolve concerns.

And, in a growing number of our food stores, in-house dieticians educate and advise customers to maintain or improve their nutrition, often in partnership with store pharmacists.

As the underlying consumer trust grows, important one-to-one customer relationships take shape – in our pharmacies and grocery aisles, and through our services and loyalty programs.  

When Shoppers joined the Loblaw family, we gained a new understanding of the power of loyalty. Our PC Plus team admired Optimum’s legacy as Canada’s number-one retail loyalty brand. Our Optimum team admired the personal, digital offers of PC Plus.

Admiration turned to action and – I’m proud to announce today – both loyalty programs have been re-imagined, launching new propositions, each borrowing the other’s best attributes.

Optimum will launch new personalized offers delivered digitally, by smart phone, through an app. Just like PC Plus.

Imagine a loyalty program so personalized, it will ultimately adjust to the pivot points in a customer’s life – a child, an aging parent, a new or heightened commitment to wellness.

There is similarly exciting news for PC Plus members who can now view the nutritional value of their personal grocery basket online, tracking it over time and comparing it to others.

PC Plus is quickly becoming Canada’s first integrated wellness loyalty platform, supported by loyalty data, sales data, and Guiding Stars nutritional rankings of 50,000 products. Today, we can educate and encourage customers toward better nutrition. Soon, we will reward them for better decisions.    

With nine and ten million members respectively, Optimum and PC Plus are powerful avenues for our purpose – Live Life Well.

I can’t conclude the topic of trust and purpose without touching on our never-ending journey to improve consumer products through our private brands.

Recently, nine out of 10 customers told us they are concerned about potentially hazardous chemicals in products. And, our scientific advisors suggested a measured move away from some specific additives.

By the end of 2018, Loblaw will no longer formulate Life Brand and President’s Choice household, beauty or cosmetic products using Triclosan, phthalates or micro beads.

Some experts link Triclosan and phthalates to human and environmental health concerns. Triclosan is common in antibacterials; phthalates in fragrances. Where alternative ingredients can’t be found, our commitment may mean products are significantly altered or removed.

We also reviewed the environmental impacts of ingredients like micro beads in skin exfoliants. These plastic beads can wash down drains, slip through water treatment systems, and pass into lakes and oceans.

This impacts fish. It may impact those of us who eat fish. And, it creates a lifecycle issue for us. We sell skin care with micro beads. We sell fish. And, in an odd twist, our beauty products may ultimately impact our commitment to sustainable seafood.

Some decisions are easy.

Leadership through our brands. Med reviews. Heart health consultations. Dietician-led shopping trips. Pharmacy phone consults. Personalized Optimum loyalty. And, better nutrition through PC Plus and Guiding Stars.

Together, these developments help us strike one-to-one relationships and influence consumer behaviour and wellness in a way that only the Loblaw family of companies can.

Together, they show the clarity of our future and the power our purpose – Live Life Well.