Independent grocers against Shoppers, Loblaws merger
by Jade Leung
In a fight for survival, the independent grocers of Canada met up with the Competition Commissioner to voice their worries over the possible monolithic merger between Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Shoppers Drug Mart.
Phil Norris, a representative from the Competition Bureau, was mum on the meeting, and told Humber News, “the Bureau conducts its merger reviews independently, and confidentially,” and confirmed they “will review the proposed acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation by Loblaw Companies Limited”.
The acquisition would give Loblaws a greater presence, given the numerous Shoppers Drug Mart locations throughout Canada.
Critics say this could force independent grocers out of the picture.
Sandy Lu, owner of the Essence of Life Organics grocery store located in Kensington Market, said it’s wishful thinking but she hopes the deal will fall through.
“We’re just a small company – we can’t compete with Loblaws or Walmart on pure volume. I’m sure they’ve got crazy buying powers,” said Lu.
Lu also expressed concern that the long hours Loblaws is open will affect her store’s business. She told Humber News, “I think Loblaws’ merge will affect our business because we’re a health store and they are trying to get into the market.”
“We’ve signed all the petitions, we’ve gone to all the politicians, but I guess it’s in their hands now,” she said.
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