grad@Loblaw Program Kicks Off 2011 Recruitment Campaign for Recent Graduates

CALGARY, Sept. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - One of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for 2011 as recognized by Mediacorp Canada Inc, Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) is looking for recent post-secondary graduates interested in a rewarding career in grocery retail. Launched in 2009, the grad@Loblaw program offers college and university graduates full-time positions and the opportunity to gain a strong foundation in the grocery retail business.

"Working at Loblaw is exciting, challenging and complex," said Eiren Good, a full-time colleague in the grad@Loblaw program. "The grad@Loblaw program gave me an incredible, well-rounded experience. By starting my work experience at store-level, I learned first-hand what it takes to successfully run Canada's largest grocery retailer. The interaction with colleagues and customers, and the hands-on work, gave me a solid foundation as I made my way through the program."

Successful candidates are hired as permanent full-time colleagues and enter into a comprehensive 18-month program that offers mentoring and hands-on experience in various parts of Loblaw business. The first five months of the program, graduates work in a Loblaw retail store, learning about store operations and how to meet the needs of customers. The graduates then spend three months in merchandising, learning about the important role of product selection and getting products to store shelves.  For the remaining nine months, graduates are placed in the department they were hired to support, such as store management or a business group such as marketing, merchandising, product development, supply chain, IT, human resources, central operations or finance.

"We strive to provide the grad@Loblaw colleagues with learning opportunities and mentorship from our company's strategic leaders as we prepare them to take for their roles at Loblaw. The blend of their passion and insights and our focus on creating meaningful learning opportunities results in an incredible pipeline of talent," said Judy McCrie, executive vice-president, Human Resources and Labour Relations, Loblaw Companies Limited.

During the grad@Loblaw program, graduates have the opportunity to examine how changes can be made to in-store programs and procedures to be more efficient and to learn about Loblaw strategies and approach to business.  They participate in training sessions at Learning Stores, which are fully-equipped store models used for colleague skill development. As part of professional development exercises, graduates are tasked with idea generation and are given the opportunity to pitch to senior executives the merits of their ideas.

"The retail sector is increasingly drawing on insight from a variety of areas to better connect with consumers," observed Paul McElhone, Executive Director, School of Retail, University of Alberta. "Hiring new talent with diverse education and personal experiences and giving recent graduates a thorough orientation in the Company's approach to business is smart way for Loblaw to deepen their pool of talent."

Grads can apply at www.loblawgrad.ca or visit local campuses across the country where Loblaw will be hosting a series of information sessions in September and early October. Loblaw is currently accepting applications until October 6, for the next group of graduates that will start the program in January 2012. More information can also be found at loblawgrad.ca and the grad@Loblaw Facebook page.

About Loblaw as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), Canada's largest grocery retailer, has been named one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for 2011. Launched in 2001, Canada's Top Employers for Young People competition is organized by the editors of the Canada's Top 100 Employers Project.  The competition recognizes employers across Canada that offer exceptional workplace environments and programs of interest to young people starting their careers in the workforce. This special designation also recognizes corporations that lead the nation in attracting and retaining younger employees in their organizations. Through innovative programs, Loblaw has created a supportive work environment that provides colleagues with the resources and tools they need to help build and strengthen their career. This includes scholarships, tuition reimbursement, training and development and colleague engagement programs.

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 136,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household demands of Canadian customers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to customers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

For more information about grad@Loblaw, please contact:
Loblaw Public Relations Department
905-459-2500 or pr@loblaw.ca


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