Loblaw recognized as a Top Employer in the Greater Toronto Area

BRAMPTON, ON, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - TSX:L - For the third year in a row, Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), has been named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc. The only grocery retailer on the list, Loblaw was given this honour for creating a great place to work that inspires colleagues to live a healthy lifestyle, engage with their community, and develop in their careers.

"We strive to create an exceptional work environment where colleagues feel connected and engaged," says Judy McCrie, executive vice president, Human Resources and Labour Relations, Loblaw Companies Limited. "It's an honour to be recognized as a top employer for Greater Toronto. At Loblaw, our colleagues are our greatest strength. Building a culture of excellence where people are passionate about their work is what enables us to recruit and retain the region's best talent."

Commitment to "be a great place to work" is one of Loblaw's five corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles, and helps shape the Company's approach to colleague engagement. Loblaw's business practices also integrate the CSR principles of; "respect the environment", "source with integrity", "making a positive difference in our community" and "reflect our nation's diversity".

From the corporate head office in Brampton, Ontario, to retail stores across the GTA under such banner names as Loblaws®, Loblaw greatfood™ and Real Canadian SuperstoreTM, Loblaw colleagues live the Company's values to create a positive experience internally and for customers.

Loblaw has earned its place on the list of Greater Toronto's Top Employers this year through the following initiatives:

Community involvement  

  • In the Greater Toronto Area, Loblaw colleagues receive paid time off to volunteer with President's Choice® Children's Charity, which focuses on childhood nutrition and supporting children with disabilities. In 2010 Loblaw provided disability grants to 228 children totaling $1.1 million in the 'M' postal code areas and an additional 196 children in the 'L' postal code area totaling another $1.35 million.
  • President's Choice® Children's Charity is actively engaged in helping fund childhood nutrition programs and has provided 42 nutrition grants in Toronto, this past year totaling $54,400 and another 63 nutrition grants in the regions of Halton, York and Durham totaling $54,300.
  • As part of the Company's national Extra Helping™ food drive, GTA colleagues donate time and support in-store food drives with GTA food banks such as the Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank and the York Region Food Network.
  • Loblaw has partnered with Toronto Community Foundation for Beyond 3:30, providing a safe and stimulating place for middle school children to gather after school.  Loblaw is also active in the Green CommUnity School Grants program, which supports school projects that connect students with nature, and fosters an understanding of environmental issues and solutions, stimulating environmental leadership amongst students and communities with WWF Canada.
  • Loblaw colleagues support programs aimed at helping to protect the environment such as National Sweater Day and The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
  • For more information about Loblaw's commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, visit www.loblaw.ca/csr.

Innovation in recruiting and career development

  • Loblaw provides an enriching and challenging program to help attract bright minds into retail, and provide a track to successful career development. grad@Loblaw is an 18-month program for recently graduated university and college students who are hired as full-time salaried staff, and given an opportunity to rotate through various roles in-store, central merchandising as well as the specific position they were hired to do. Since 2009, more than 250 post-secondary graduates in the GTA have been hired.
  • Loblaw features learning stores which focus on ensuring all store colleagues understand and have the required skills to effectively execute store processes. Such training results in improved store standards and productivity, while delivering a level of service that meets or exceeds customers' expectations.
  • Colleagues are given the opportunity to connect across the Loblaw network through special events and mentorship programs, such as the Women@Loblaw Network which provides women throughout the Company with an online networking site and events that focus on professional development.

Unique work environment

  • Each morning, teams across the company "huddle" for a short meeting to provide colleagues with the most up to date information that will help colleagues do their jobs. Huddles have been in use in Loblaw stores for some time and now also take place at the head office and regional distribution centres.
  • Loblaw's head office has a complete Goodlife Fitness facility and extensive sports facilities on the premises, a full service market-style cafeteria featuring an array of menu items using President's Choice® products, an outdoor patio, fresh herb garden and state-of-the-art Test Kitchen.

"Loblaw has built an environment where people are excited about their work and challenged to do their best," says Katie Gardner, grad@Loblaw participant and current full time colleague. "We are given the opportunity to network internally and learn about the Company beyond our home departments so we feel connected to the broader business and its objectives."

To learn more about the Greater Toronto's Top Employers competition and Mediacorp's selection of this year's recipients, visit www.canadastop100.com/toronto/

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 consumers. 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 consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Loblaw Public Relations Department
(905) 459-2500 or

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