Analysis by Letters To The Beast
Loblaw CEO Galen Weston’s compensation jumps 55 per cent to $8.4 million
Galen Weston has a problem. The Chief Executive Officer of Loblaw’s, the Canadian grocery giant, has gotten a raise which amounts to more than many of us would make in a decade (or more). And this is while consumers are struggling to afford even the most basic of necessities.
CBC: This Hour Has 22 Minutes (video below)
Weston’s 2022 “compensation” totaled C$11.7-million ($8.7-million), an increase of C$1.1-million ($816,000) compared to the year before.
Loblaw’s is a retail giant in Canada. Besides owning the Loblaw’s brand, the company also owns Shopper’s Drug Mart, a nationwide chain of overpriced, understaffed drug dealers, various regional “Superstores,” Zehrs, Dominion in Newfoundland, several “discount” chains, a bank, a clothing line and other retail and manufacturing undertakings.
While swearing (literally, in Canadian parliamentary hearings) that they weren’t profiting from “greedflation,” the numbers say otherwise.
Loblaw’s share price has nearly doubled over the past two years, going from C$70 to over C$125.
As CTV (the Canadian Television Network) and Canadian Press note in the article, “All three grocers raked in higher profits in the first half of 2022 compared with their average performance over the past five years, according to a report last fall by the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University.”
Given Loblaw’s massive advertising influence, corporate media have no choice but to cover for them. Like a wife walking in on her husband, who is mid-coitus with another woman, “It’s not what you think! I promise!”
The word “but” is used three times in the article.
The news of Loblaw’s extraordinary profiteering, and by extension, Galen Weston’s equally extraordinary (by Canadian standards) pay, will make things more difficult to maintain his image as the low-key celebrity CEO pitchman doing his darndest to help out consumers in tough times. This role was pioneered by his predecessor, the late David Nichol.
Canada’s state broadcaster, the CBC, nailed it in this spoof Loblaw’s commercial.
Perhaps, in Galen’s next commercial, he can read Cal-Maine Foods’ press release (changing it as necessary, of course). His customers are sure to lap it up.
Sherman Miller, chief executive officer of Cal-Maine Foods, commented, “We are proud to report another strong quarterly financial and operating performance for Cal-Maine Foods, with record sales and net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2023. These results reflect the current market environment characterized by record average selling prices for conventional eggs, primarily due to reduced supply related to the outbreak in the U.S. of highly pathogenic avian influenza (“HPAI”), and good customer demand…Consumer demand for shell eggs continued to be good in the quarter, especially leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, and we experienced record quarterly volume levels for specialty eggs sold. As always, we strive to offer consumers a wide range of quality choices in shell eggs as well as enhanced egg products offerings. Our ability to meet changing demand trends with a favorable product mix has been an important differentiator for Cal-Maine Foods. With solid execution, we continued to meet the needs of our customers.
The solution to high grocery prices may be for us to all move to California. Then we can just load the cart up with everything we need (up to $900, anyway) and just wheel the cart out the ol’ front door.