Loblaw banks on e-commerce in Q3

Canadian food retailer Loblaw posted a 6.9% year-over-year revenue gain in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, reaching approximately $11.9 billion.

E-commerce was a bright spot for Loblaw in Q3. Online sales grew by 175% in the third quarter across the company's grocery, pharmacy and apparel e-commerce platforms. The platform was expanded in the quarter to include front-store items from the Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix pharmacies.

“Loblaw delivered strong operating performance in the quarter, while investing in providing exceptional value, safety and convenience,” said Galen Weston, Loblaw’s executive chairman. “We continued to build for the future, expanding our digital network and leveraging our PC Optimum loyalty program to create even more value for Canadian families.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact Loblaw’s operations in the quarter. It positively affected sales in the food retail business. The grocer invested nearly CAN $65 million in COVID-19 related costs in the quarter, primarily to ensure the safety and security of customers and colleagues.

Other Q3 highlights include the following:

  • Retail segment sales reached about $11.7 billion. When compared with the third quarter of 2019, this represented an increase of 7.2%.
  • Food retail (Loblaw) same-stores sales growth was 6.9%.
  • Drug retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) same-store sales growth was 6.1%, with pharmacy same-store sales growth of 10.3% and front-store same-store sales growth of 2.4%.
  • Operating income was $546.5 million. When compared with the third quarter of 2019, this represented an increase of 4.1%.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates 2,431 stores in Canada.