Analysis of Loblaw Companies Limited

Topics: Loblaw Companies, President's Choice Financial, Food Pages: 12 (4263 words) Published: March 14, 2006

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to highlight the findings of the audit that was conducted on Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw), a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, and to come to a feasible conclusion about maintaining the company's already successful business. A qualitative and quantitative analysis was conducted through secondary research, using internal and external resources. Since its incorporation in 1956, Loblaw has worked its way up to being one of the largest Canadian private sector employers, as well as the nation's largest food distributor. Functionality of departments dictates the company's structure, where team superiority stands at the head of this hierarchical organization. These divisions are rigorously tested for compliance on the policies that Loblaw has adopted. Policies and procedures are in place to regulate many areas of the company's business. There are very strict procedures to identify, diagnose and resolve potential problematic situations that may arise regarding food and safety. There are also similar policies in place to prevent environmental degradation. These policies are subject to both internal and external operating commissions. Loblaw demands that its suppliers also strictly adhere to policies dictated by the corporation. These areas affect such activities as quality control and labelling, which are also subject to audits by Loblaw. Employees are valued as a critical resource and are offered additional benefits along with the regular health packages and pension plans. Another social variable that Loblaw takes into consideration is goodwill; an assortment of charities benefit from Loblaw's donations. A substantial section of social awareness is consumer feedback and quality control through the use of focus groups and surveys with this particular organization. Annual reports are released to keep investors updated on the company's progress. Although food distribution is the main focus of Loblaw, recently it has claimed "superstore" status by offering additional convenient services. The company targets customers through marketing mix that consists of price, product, distribution, and place. Loblaw targets the lower to middle income earning bracket by offering reasonably high quality, diverse goods at low prices. New trends are influencing how people are spending their money, so Loblaw is concentrating on taking advantage of newly evolving spending-habits. The company is implementing their strategies by gearing their products towards the home-oriented, health-conscious and culturally selective consumers. On the other hand, Loblaw is constantly battling competition from other mass merchandisers, which pose a threat to the company. Loblaw is also attempting to optimize the efficiency of time and money spent. Loblaw owns 65% of the land that its stores are situated on, which saves the company money. Time and money are also saved in the area of trucking of goods, through the use of highly scheduled, temperature-compartmentalized trucks that deliver goods with little to no time spent in warehouses. In addition, money is also saved by reducing amounts spent on the building and upkeep of larger warehouses. Loblaw has seen positive growth in the financial areas of current ratio calculations. However, a poor debt to assets ratio and accounts receivable hinder the company from achieving maximum growth and development. Loblaw could increase growth by cutting its debt to assets ratio and by the shortening the number of days to collect accounts receivable. In order for Loblaw to continue its domination in the food distribution industry, there are four apparent routes to be acted upon: diffusing into the market even more, maturing into a new market, branching company assets or cultivating current decisions. It is in the best interest of the company to maintain status quo, as it has already taken steps into the three other...
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