Loblaws differentiates itself from its competitors with bold marketing innovations, product and service offerings, and commitment to social responsibility and the environment. It was the first self-service grocery in Canada and the first to air-condition its stores.
Loblaws was among the first to respond to the rapid inflation and demand for lower prices in the 1970s by releasing its “No Name” brand of generic products and introducing No-Frills stores, a warehouse-style chain that emphasized the No-Name brand, displayed products in shipping cartons and required customers to package their own groceries.
The company was among the first to display social awareness by marketing its own line of environmentally friendly, reusable shopping bags and installing a surcharge to discourage the use of plastic bags. The company continued to demonstrate its commitment to the environment with the 2008 opening of a flagship store in Scarborough, Ontario that cuts refrigeration discharges by 85 percent and significantly reduces emissions and its carbon footprint.
In 2009, the store in Porter’s Lake, Nova Scotia became the first supermarket to have its own wind turbine, which supplies one-quarter of its energy. In 2014, Loblaw’s became the first retailer in North America to offer responsibly farmed salmon certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
To further distinguish itself, the company is focusing on the expansion of an e-commerce platform with its pilot "click-and-collect" program, as of 2015. This option is very popular in the United Kingdom and allows shoppers to purchase food online and pick up their orders from local stores.