METRO to become Ontario's largest grocery banner - $200 million investment will consolidate company's conventional food stores under Metro name



    TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - METRO Inc. (TSX:MRU.A) announced today
that it will consolidate its five conventional food store banners in Ontario
under the Metro name starting in September 2008. The launch of Metro in
Ontario will be supported by a $200 million investment in upgraded store
facilities, food offering and marketing to create the province's largest
grocery banner with 158 stores. Over a 15 month period, all current Dominion,
A&P, Loeb, The Barn and Ultra banners will be converted to the Metro name. The
only banner not included in the change is Food Basics which competes in the
discount food segment.
    "The decision to rebrand under the Metro name is part of a long-term
strategy to capitalize on operational and marketing efficiencies by uniting
the individual strengths of our existing banners in Ontario and sharing best
practices with our Quebec and Ontario stores," said Eric La Flèche, President
and Chief Executive Officer, METRO Inc.
    The change to the Metro name will begin in Toronto in September with the
conversion of the city's Dominion stores, followed by the rollout of the Metro
brand across Ontario. All Dominion, Ultra and The Barn stores will be
converted before the end of 2008, Loeb stores will be converted in the first
half of 2009 and A&P stores will be converted before the end of 2009. When the
banner consolidation program is complete, the new Metro network in Ontario and
Quebec will comprise 376 conventional food stores including 218 in Quebec.
    METRO will invest $200 million to remodel its stores and upgrade its food
offering to serve the lifestyle preferences of Ontario consumers while
continuing to provide excellent everyday value. The company began preparing
for the Ontario banner conversion after its acquisition of A&P Canada in 2005
by integrating its management information systems and strengthening its supply
chain in anticipation of today's announcement. The company is also unveiling a
new unified corporate and retail logo as part of its updated public image.
    "METRO is very pleased to take the next step in the growth of our
company," said Mr. La Flèche. "We are building on a strong foundation due to
our unwavering focus on food, our great store locations and our dedicated
staff to provide our customers with the best shopping experience. We are
excited about what we'll have in store starting September."

    METRO INC.

    With annual sales of nearly $11 billion and over 65,000 employees,
METRO Inc. is a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Québec and
Ontario, where it operates a network of close to 600 food stores under several
banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C, A&P, Dominion, Loeb, and Food
Basics, as well as over 250 pharmacies under the Brunet, Clini Plus, The
Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

    Forward-looking Statements

    Any statement contained in this press release which does not constitute
an historic fact, may be deemed a projection. Verbs such as "believe",
"foresee", "estimate", "expect" and other similar expressions appearing in
this press release generally indicate projections. These projections do not
provide guarantees as to the future performance of METRO INC. and are subject
to risks, both known and unknown, as well as uncertainties which may cause the
outlook, profitability and actual results of METRO INC. to differ
significantly from the profitability or future results stated or implied in
these projections. The risks identified by METRO INC. are described in the
2007 Annual Report under Risk Management. The forward-looking statements
formulated in this press release are based on a certain number of assumptions
regarding the economy, the market, and the Company's operations and financial
position. One of these assumptions is that current trends in these areas will
persist into the future. These assumptions are reasonable and applicable at
this press release's date of issue only and represent our expectations at said
time. METRO INC. does not intend to update the forward-looking statements that
may be contained herein, except as required by law.


    
    PROFILE

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Eric R. La Flèche
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO Inc.


    Mr. Eric Richer La Flèche holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School
and a degree in Civil Law (LL.L) from the University of Ottawa.
    Mr. La Flèche began his career in 1983 as a corporate and securities
lawyer in Montreal. In 1985, he joined the Department of Finance as Special
Assistant to the Minister. From 1988 to 1990, he was a project development
officer with a Montreal-based real estate developer.
    His career in the grocery industry began in 1991 when he joined METRO INC.
as Executive Director of Real Estate Development, before being appointed
Vice-President of Real Estate and Legal Affairs. In 1997, he moved to the
Super C banner as Vice-President of Operations, then as Senior Vice-President
and General Manager. In 1999, he was appointed President of Loeb Canada Inc.
while remaining Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Super C. In
January 2005, he was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating
Officer of METRO INC., and in April 2008, he became President and Chief
Executive Officer.
    Mr. La Flèche is involved in several local charities.

    2008 August


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    COMPANY PROFILE - HISTORICAL CORPORATE HIGHLIGHTS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1947: Nineteen grocers group together to form Magasins Lasalle
          Stores Ltée.

    1961: The Metro banner is born. Its name takes after the high-profile
          campaign conducted since 1956 by Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montreal at
          the time, to promote his metro project. As "metro" is the buzzword
          of the day in Montreal, the new banner's name is a natural.

    1986: METRO shares are publicly traded on the Montreal Stock Exchange for
          its initial public offering (IPO).

          The Company acquires McMahon Distributeur Pharmaceutique Inc.

    1987: The Company acquires La Ferme Carnaval Inc., owner of 14 food
          stores, now operating under the Super C banner.

    1990: Pierre H. Lessard is appointed to the position of President and
          Chief Executive Officer.

    1992: The Company acquires 48 Steinberg stores increasing the Company's
          position in the Montreal market.

    1993: The Class A subordinates shares of the company are registered and
          the Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    1999: The Company enters the Ontario market with the acquisition of
          41 supermarkets under the Loeb banner and two warehouses in
          Ontario.

    2003: The Company launches a new banner, Metro Plus, further advancing
          the concept of the ultra-modern, friendly supermarket that includes
          specialty shops.

    2005: The Company purchases 236 supermarkets and five warehouses in
          Ontario from A&P US for approximately $1.783 billion. The Company
          operates 133 "fresh" stores under the banners of A&P, Dominion,
          The Barn Market and Ultra Drug & Food and operates 103 discount
          stores under the Food Basics banner.

    2008: The Company appoints Pierre H. Lessard Executive Chairman of the
          Board of Directors.

          Eric R. La Flèche becomes President and Chief Executive Officer.

          The Company consolidates its five conventional food store banners
          in Ontario - Dominion, A&P, Loeb, Ultra and The Barn - under the
          Metro name.

    For a comprehensive historical profile from 1947 to present, visit the
Metro website at www.metro.ca

    August 2008
    

    
    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/
    




For further information:

For further information: Selena Fiacco, Director, Communications, METRO
Inc., (416) 234-6081, selena.fiacco@metro.ca; Greg Power, SVP & General
Manager, Optimum Public Relations, (416) 934-8059, greg.power@cossette.com


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