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Industry NewsLoblaw 2024 Q1: 16% e-comm sales increase leads growth, retail sales see...

Loblaw 2024 Q1: 16% e-comm sales increase leads growth, retail sales see single digit climb

Loblaw Company revenue was $13,581 million for the 2024 first quarter, an increase of $586 million or 4.5 per cent. E-commerce sales grew by 16 per cent with food retail same-store sales increasing 3.4 per cent and drug retail same-store sales climbing 4.0 per cent.

In drug retail, front store same-store sales growth was 0.7 per cent and pharmacy and healthcare services same-store sales grew 7.3%.

In the food retail segment, traffic increased and basket size decreased. Sales in the segment were $9,409 million and same-store sales grew by 3.4 per cent versus 3.1 per cent in 2023.

Drug retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) sales were $3,881 million and same store sales grey by 4.0 per cent versus 7.4 per cent in 2023. In this segment, pharmacy and healthcare services same store sales grew 7.3 per cent versus 4.7 per cent last year, and front store same store sales increased 0.7 per cent compared to 10.3 per cent the previous year.

“We continued to deliver value, quality and service across our various banners, which led to more customers choosing our stores,” says Per Bank, president and CEO, Loblaw Companies Limited. “Our dedicated colleagues, strategic plan and unique assets position us well to best serve the needs of Canadians today and in the future.”

Bank says the company’s discount banners, private label brands and PC Optimum offers led to “higher store traffic, strong market share gains in food retail, and revenue growth that stands out against lower internal inflation. An increase in drug retail sales reflected continued strength in front store beauty and cough and cold products.”

Loblaw says Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Food Purchased From Stores in March was 1.9 per cent, the lowest level recorded in more than two years and was below the headline CPI in the first quarter of 2024. Loblaw adds its internal food inflation remained below Canada’s CPI for Food Purchased From Stores again this quarter.

The earnings release follows on the heels of news of grocery shoppers planning to boycott Loblaw stores. Bank stated in an April 30 story in the National Post that the company is paying attention to customers and shopping behaviours as they seek out more sales, buy more private label products and shop more at discount stores.

He says in the article he takes customer complaints seriously and the company is addressing them because “that’s something I want to fix” while noting that it’s easier to point fingers at grocers like Loblaw rather than at other players in the supply chain or global factors leading to higher prices.

“Everybody knows Loblaws. Everybody knows our chairman (Galen Weston). We are a much, much easier target and we need to live with that and that’s fine.”

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