As part of Loblaw Companies Limited’s (TSX:L) long-term strategic plan and its commitment to becoming a more efficient Company, to reducing costs and to investing in value, assortment and service for its customers, the Company today announced its plan to reduce a number of head office and administrative positions.

Focused primarily on management and administrative positions, the plan is expected to affect approximately 700 jobs. Changes will take effect starting today and should be complete within three weeks. The Company expects to take a one-time estimated $60 million charge in the fourth quarter, reflecting the anticipated costs of the planned reductions.

“We’re managing costs where it makes sense by reducing administrative expense. We will continue to invest in driving the business forward by devoting more resources to enhance the customer proposition,” said Vicente Trius, president, Loblaw Companies Limited.

“Loblaw is proud to be one of Canada’s largest private employers supporting local economies from coast to coast,” said Trius. “In the past twelve months we have opened 14 new stores where we added more than 2,000 new jobs, making a positive contribution to the communities we serve.

“To those colleagues who are leaving us we thank you for your contribution to the business and we are committed to treating you fairly and with respect. This change was made as part of a strategic plan to make Loblaw stronger as we evolve to address changing customer needs and ensure we have the flexibility to adjust to the demands of the marketplace.”

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 135,000 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.

Forward-Looking Statements

This News Release for Loblaw Companies Limited contains forward-looking statements about the Company’s objectives, plans, goals, aspirations, strategies, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, performance, prospects and opportunities. These forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “anticipate”, “expect”, “believe”, “foresee”, “could”, “estimate”, “goal”, “intend”, “plan”, “seek”, “strive”, “will”, “may” and “should” and similar expressions, as they relate to the Company and its management.

The forward-looking statements contained in this News Release are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to those referred to in the Company’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time, including in the Forward Looking Statements and the Enterprise Risks and Risk Management sections of the Company’s second quarter Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”) and the MD&A included in the Company’s 2011 Annual Report – Financial Review. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but reflect the Company’s current expectations concerning future results and events. They also reflect management’s current assumptions regarding those risks and uncertainties and their respective impact on the Company.

These risks and uncertainties are not an exhaustive list of the factors that may affect the Company’s forward-looking statements. Other risks and uncertainties not presently known to the Company or that the Company presently believes are not material could also cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in its forward-looking statements. Additional risks and uncertainties are discussed in the Company’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities from time to time. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s expectations only as of the date of this News Release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

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