Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Why Axis

Breaking down the hundreds of millions Canada’s Big Three grocers are spending on innovation

VANCOUVER — Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed Canadians’ shopping habits, the country’s Big Three grocers were racing to innovate, spending hundreds of millions on technology and store and warehouse revamps.  

Talking Point

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed Canadians’ shopping habits, the country’s Big Three grocers were racing to innovate, spending hundreds of millions on technology and store and warehouse revamps. Loblaw, Empire and Metro were able to adapt quickly to shoppers’ changing demands in part because they already had ambitious projects underway backed by substantial capital expenditures.

Loblaw, Empire and Metro all benefited from a shopping frenzy in the pandemic’s early days, and then sustained sales growth as Canadians ate at home more often. They were able to adapt quickly to shoppers’ changing demands in a new world of physical distancing and lockdowns—a rush to e-commerce, more delivery—in part because the three already had ambitious projects underway backed by substantial capital expenditures. While each firm continues to spend on capital as planned, their most recent quarters saw capital expenditures that outpaced last year’s. Here’s how they’re spending on innovation.

    Join now to start reading premium, award-winning journalism.

    By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

    In-depth, agenda-setting reporting

    Great journalism delivered straight to your inbox.

    Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke at The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live global technology conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., in November 2018.

    Briefing

    Magna, BlackBerry announce joint project on advanced driver assistance

    Google trying ‘to avoid regulation’ by critiquing Online News Act, feds say

    BP plans major carbon capture project on Texas Gulf Coast

    Best business newsletter in Canada

    Get up to speed in minutes with insights and analysis on the most important stories of the day, every weekday.

    Exclusive events

    See the bigger picture with reporters and industry experts in subscriber-exclusive events.

    Membership in The Logic Council

    Membership provides access to our popular Slack channel, participation in subscriber surveys and invitations to exclusive events with our journalists and special guests.

    Canada's most influential executives and policymakers are reading The Logic

    • CPP Investments
    • Sun Life Financial
    • C100
    • Amazon
    • Telus
    • Mastercard
    • bdc
    • Shopify
    • Rogers
    • RBC
    • General Motors
    • MaRS
    • Government of Canada
    • Uber
    • Loblaw Companies Limited