Canadian retail giant Loblaw has reported that it made a profit of $529 million in the last three months of 2022.
The company released its numbers for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2022 on Thursday. Fourth-quarter profits were much higher in 2021 at $744 million. Inflation proceeded to get so bad, the Bank of Canada adjusted its key interest rate seven times in 2022 to help curb it.
As millions of Canadian families struggled to put food on the table, essentials became the most sales-rich segment at Loblaw stores. In Q4 of 2022, same-store food retail sales stood at $9.5 billion, rising from $8.74 billion in the same period in 2021.
Drug retail in Q4 brought in sales of $4.18 billion as well, shooting up from 2021’s $3.74 billion. On a year-by-year basis, sales rose in all retail segments.
Loblaw’s e-commerce sales for 2022 were approximately $3 billion, which was lower than in 2021. This was quite likely due to COVID-19 lockdowns, which pushed Canadians to skip stores and shop online more.
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In December last year, Daily Hive asked Canadians how inflation was affecting them.
Over half of our respondents said they had stopped buying certain food items entirely in order to afford groceries. The second most common way out was cutting other expenses to make sure there was food on the table.
“I can no longer afford groceries” was the third most frequent response we got.
“In order to eat a balanced diet, I need fruits, vegetables, and meats,” Jackie, a Calgary resident battling celiac disease, told us. “Pastas that are gluten-free are costly as are certified sauces and soups,” she explained.
The 49-year-old added that her income as a minimum wage worker really limits her decisions as the cost of living climbs to new peaks.
A recent report from Statistics Canada showed that though inflation is slightly down right now (dipping from 6.4% in December 2022 to 5.9% in January 2023), food prices rose.
For 2023, Loblaw expects its retail business to grow earnings faster than sales, and Canadians can expect to continue paying high prices for groceries.