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Galen Weston

For the current Loblaw executive chairman and spokesperson, see Galen Weston Jr.

Willard Gordon Galen WestonOC CVO OOnt (October 29, 1940 – April 12, 2021) was a British-Canadian billionaire businessman and Chairman Emeritus of George Weston Limited, a Canadian food processing and distribution company. Weston and his family, with an estimated net worth of US$8.7 billion, are listed as the third wealthiest in Canada and 178th in the world by Forbes magazine (June 2019).

Galen Weston
Weston at the Canadian Film Centre Gala in February 2013
Born
Willard Gordon Galen Weston

(1940-10-29)October 29, 1940
DiedApril 12, 2021(2021-04-12) (aged 80)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality
  • British
  • Canadian
Alma materUniversity of Western Ontario
OccupationBusinessman
TitleChairman Emeritus of George Weston Limited
Chairman of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
Spouse(s)
(m. 1966)​
ChildrenAlannah Weston
Galen Weston Jr.
RelativesW. Garfield Weston (father)
George Weston (grandfather)

In addition to being one of the country's leading bakers through wholly owned subsidiary Weston Foods, he was an experienced supermarket retailer who maintained a controlling interest in Loblaw Companies, Canada's largest food retailer, through a family holding company. Weston was also head of the world's second-largest luxury goods retailer as chairman of Holt Renfrew in Canada and the Selfridges Group, owner of Selfridges in the United Kingdom, Brown Thomas in Ireland, the De Bijenkorf department store chain in the Netherlands, and the recently acquired Ogilvy department store in Montreal. Weston was chairman of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, a Canadian charitable foundation that has made close to $200 million in donations over the past decade.

Contents

Weston was born to Reta Lila (Howard) and W. Garfield Weston at Marlow in Buckinghamshire, approximately 30 miles (48 km) west of London, on October 29, 1940 – the youngest of nine children. Garfield Weston, a Canadian businessman whose father George Weston established George Weston Limited, had successfully expanded overseas during the 1930s by acquiring and modernising biscuit and bread factories throughout the United Kingdom. In 1945, Weston and his family returned to Canada but moved frequently as his father pursued various business ventures, which included supermarket chains in North America and Europe. Growing up, Weston worked in the stores that comprised his father's retail holdings. He once noted, "I've been a bag boy a thousand times in five languages." Between 1954 and 1959, he was educated in the United Kingdom at the elite London school, St Paul's.

In 1962, after studying business administration at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario, Weston moved to Dublin to set up a grocery store with his own money. A second location followed, and the outlets evolved into the Powers chain of supermarkets. Weston found the Republic of Ireland a land of opportunity:

Southern Ireland in the early Sixties, in terms of growth, was where the real opportunities existed. The population was coming to Dublin, the European Community was becoming more and more aware of Ireland. Lemass was beginning to take a different perspective upon capital coming into the country and it looked like there was going to be a major opportunity for growth.

By 1965, Weston's business had grown to six grocery stores. Four years later, he expanded his business interests with the purchase of a bankrupt department store Todd Burns which he renamed Penneys. Within a year, four more stores opened, all with a similar discount format. Two years later, the first Penneys outside of Dublin was launched, followed by eleven more stores, including one in Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, Weston married Hilary Frayne, one of Ireland's top fashion models, in 1966. In the early 1970s, Weston expanded his grocery holdings with the acquisition of competitor Quinnsworth. Weston also purchased an interest in Brown Thomas, the upscale Dublin department store, in 1971 and gave it to his wife as a present. They eventually acquired full ownership in 1984.

In 1971, Weston was asked by Garfield Weston, Chairman of George Weston Limited, to take a look at Loblaws, the company's Ontario-based supermarket chain, which appeared headed for bankruptcy. He found a company deeply in debt with too many small, aging outlets, and a market share recently cut in half. "The big question then was should this chain be closed up or should we make the enormous investment in money and time to return it to its former place. I felt that from a retailing standpoint Loblaws was the nucleus of potentially the finest company in Canada."

In February 1972, Weston was appointed chief executive officer of Loblaw Companies and immediately began consolidating operations. Financing was arranged through a Weston family holding company to free Loblaws from store leaseback agreements. Within a year, 78 money-losing locations were closed down. Weston noted that, "as a 200-store chain, we didn't look very good. As a 100-store chain, we looked very good indeed."

Weston next hired designer Don Watt to remodel one of the chain's Toronto outlets on a budget of only $30,000. "Loblaws is in such trouble that if it doesn't work, it doesn't matter. If it works – good." The new store featured an expanded produce section moved upfront with huge photographs of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and baked goods. It used panelling and big moveable display bins, in addition to new colours and logo. Sales dramatically increased. Loblaws also introduced a new advertising campaign, featuring Canadian actor William Shatner of Star Trek fame who told viewers, "More than the price is right at Loblaws ... but by gosh the price is right."

Weston also brought in new managerial talent that included former university schoolmate Dave Nichol and fellow McKinsey consultant Richard Currie, who took on the role of "change agents". In spite of no previous experience in the retail food industry, Weston gave Nichol and Currie the authority to force change on an often reluctant senior management. Nichol was made President of Loblaws in Ontario and later Loblaw International Merchants. He became closely associated with the company's first in-house brand No Name in 1978 and was behind the introduction of the President's Choice brand in 1983. Currie's knowledge of logistics led to him being appointed President of Loblaw Companies Limited and, years later, George Weston Limited.

With the company's holdings in the United States also losing money, particularly Chicago, Illinois-based National Tea with some 700 supermarkets, Weston initiated a similar program of rationalization and renewal. He and Currie rented a townhouse in a Chicago suburb and spent months devising a plan that saw hundreds of outlets closed. Those stores that remained were renovated and rebranded in the hope of preserving the company's stake in the U.S. market. Weston noted, "it was in the cards that National Tea should be, or would be, disposed of. But I felt we had a tremendous foothold in the U.S. and it must not be lost, almost at any price."

Private labels

In addition to investing in store renovations, early on Weston earmarked $40 million for the development of private label brands:

"We found it essential to change products and services before redesigning their image. For example, nothing is more disappointing for a consumer than to buy a private label product because of the attractiveness of its redesigned label and then find that the same quality that had disappointed her previously had not been improved."

In March 1978, Loblaw launched "No Name", a line of 16 generic products in simple black and yellow packaging with advertised savings of 10 to 40 percent over the national brands. Within weeks, some No Name items had sold out. Months later, the company opened its first No Frills store, featuring No Name, along with a limited selection of 500 items at discount prices. Consumer response was so favourable that it began converting older, more marginal stores to No Frills outlets.

As the product line-up expanded, Loblaw soon began experimenting with a variety of gourmet No Name items. When sales of "President's Blend Gourmet Coffee" started outselling every other grocery item on the shelf, the decision was made to introduce a premium line of store brand products. In 1983, "President's Choice" was launched, with each item endorsed by Loblaws President Dave Nichol and promoted through the popular advertising supplement Dave Nichol's Insider's Report. No Name and President's Choice went on to account for almost a third of grocery item sales at Loblaw.

Chairmanship

In March 1975, Weston was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of George Weston Limited. As Weston took charge of North American operations, his brother Garry Weston, based in London, England, continued to head Associated British Foods. Although market share in Ontario was regained, the company continued to struggle. In 1976, year-end results showed a loss of $50 million for Loblaw, while parent George Weston Limited lost $14 million – the first recorded loss in the company's history. That same year, Loblaw sold three unprofitable divisions - Chicago, Syracuse, and California State – representing 280 stores or half of its remaining U.S. retail outlets.

Within the first few years of Weston's chairmanship, $300 million of non-core assets were divested. "The one philosophical change as a result of my involvement with the company was to swing from a commitment to sales growth – almost regardless of geography of industry, sales came first, earnings second – to the question of return on capital employed and productivity in its most sophisticated sense."

Well into the 1970s, the company continued to sell assets to shore up its balance sheet. In 1978, both Loblaw and George Weston Limited returned to profitability and in 1979 the company showed record earnings of $76 million on sales of $6 billion.

Expansion

On the retail side, Loblaw expanded through the 1980s when it had become Canada's largest and most profitable grocery retailer. Loblaw had begun opening large format, one-stop-shopping centres in Western Canada under the Real Canadian Superstore banner and were successful, but when similar large-scale 'hypermarkets' were opened in Ontario, they lost money and had to be scaled back. As a result of Loblaw owning much of its real estate, rather than leasing, the company was able to reduce the size of its Supercentres by simply renting out the redundant space.

While retail formats were not easily transferable, the company's 'control label' products proved successful from one store format and part of the country to another. By the 1990s, No Name and President's Choice products accounted for $1.5 billion in revenue with sales that extended into the United States.

Free trade

While Weston expressed personal support for free trade with the United States, the signing of an agreement in 1988 resulted in another re-evaluation of his company's asset mix. Through the late 1980s and 1990s, businesses that included biscuit and ice cream making, bathroom tissue manufacturing, milling, sugar refining and chocolate bar makings, were divested as domestic industries struggled to remain competitive:

"The historic east-west dynamics of the Canadian economy, as well as our small and scattered population, created structural inefficiencies in everything we did. And so, in response to free trade, we had to become competitive on our manufacturing side, which meant staying with fewer product categories and only those that could succeed on the North American scale. We restructured, we consolidated, and we did what had to be done for our long-term survival."

Divestiture and growth

In 1995, Loblaw divested the last of its retail holding in the United States while Weston oversaw the expansion of Canadian retail operations. Loblaw bought 80-store Agora Foods of Atlantic Canada for $81 million in late 1998 and soon thereafter announced the purchase of Quebec-based Provigo for $1.7 billion. Meanwhile, George Weston Limited continued to move away from resource-based industries. In 1998 the company E.B. Eddy Forest Products was divested for $800 million. East and West coast fish processing operations, namely British Columbia Packers and Connors Brothers of New Brunswick, were merged and sold.

Weston greatly expanded the company's American bakery operations with the purchase of Bestfoods Baking Co. from Unilever for (U.S.) $1.7 billion in 2001. With nineteen plants, Weston acquired brands that included Entenmann's and Thomas' English Muffins.

Retrenchment

In 2006, Loblaw recorded its first loss in almost two decades as a program to centralize administrative functions and consolidate warehouse operations resulted in chronic supply chains problems and customer complaints of empty shelves. In September, Loblaw President John Lederer and Chairman Weston resigned. Galen G. Weston, Weston's son, became the new Executive Chairman with Allen Leighton appointed Deputy Chairman and later President. Weston retained the post of Chairman and President of parent George Weston Limited. With the introduction of a "fix the basics" program, designed to re-focus on food retailing, and a drive to resolve logistical problems, Loblaw returned to profitability in 2007.

In 2008, several major assets were sold, namely Neilson Dairy to Saputo for (CAN) $465 million and George Weston Bakeries and Stroehmann Bakeries in the United States to Mexican conglomerate Grupo Bimbo for (US) $2.5 billion. Weston noted the sale of the American assets represented the company's biggest deal ever and that these transactions left Weston and Loblaw with a combined $5 billion in cash to use for future acquisitions. In 2009, Loblaw acquired T & T Supermarket, a chain of Chinese grocery stores with operations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Although a bid by Weston and George Weston Limited to acquire the Hudson's Bay Company and its chain of department stores failed in 1979, a second opportunity to acquire a major Canadian retailer presented itself several years later. In 1986, Wittington Investments, the Weston family holding company, announced the purchase of Holt Renfrew & Co. Limited. Press reports named a purchase price of $43 million for the fifteen store chain. Holt Renfrew subsequently underwent an extensive renovation program.

In 1989, Weston and his wife broke ground on the Windsor gated community in Vero Beach, Florida, a private residential development on Florida's east coast. Promoted as a "Village by the Sea", the project combined Weston's interest in modern architecture with decades of first-hand experience in commercial planning. The development sits on 425 acres (1.72 km2) with 350 residences of Anglo-Caribbean design. It has a full-service equestrian center and an 18-hole golf course.

In 2003, it was announced that Weston had completed a deal to buy Selfridges, the British department store chain, through the Weston family holding company. Press reports quoted a purchase price £598 million. Plans to expand the number of stores were shelved in favour of extensive renovations to Selfridges' flagship store, the historic Oxford Street landmark in the heart of London's shopping district. Daughter Alannah Weston (married to the grandson and heir of the late Sir Desmond Cochrane, 3rd Baronet, and his Lebanese wife Lady Cochrane Sursock) was subsequently named creative director at Selfridges. The Selfridges Group has since expanded its holdings with the November 2010 acquisition of luxury department store chain De Bijenkorf of the Netherlands and the July 2011 purchase of the Ogilvy department store in downtown Montreal.

Galen Weston is a member of the Weston family. He married his wife, Hilary Weston (born Hilary Frayne) on July 23, 1966. They had two twin children, Alannah and Galen Weston born in 1972.

When in the United Kingdom, the Westons reside at Fort Belvedere outside London, while in Canada they reside in central Toronto or on a private island in Georgian Bay, Ontario. They spend their winters either at a gated community in Eleuthera and Harbour Island in the Bahamas or at the Windsor gated community in Vero Beach, Florida.

In August 1983, Weston was the target of an attempted kidnapping by the Irish Republican Army from his estate in Ireland. The police had been tipped off about the attempt and set up an ambush for the kidnappers. Upon the kidnappers arrival, a gun fight broke out and two of the kidnappers were killed and five were arrested.

Weston retired in 2016 as chairman of George Weston Limited and was succeeded by his son. He died at his home in Toronto on April 12, 2021, after a long illness.

Weston was a supporter of a range of charitable causes, both personally and as Chairman of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The Foundation assists Canadian students through the Garfield Weston Awards, along with various scholarship programs, and made possible the Weston Family Learning Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Weston Family Innovation Centre at the Ontario Science Centre. The Foundation is a major contributor to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its work to preserve wilderness lands. It also funds scientific research, especially into Canada's ecologically fragile Arctic. It further provides financial support to a variety of social organizations that include food banks and the Salvation Army in Canada. He also served as president of the board of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and as chairman and chief fundraiser for the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific. In 2004, Weston and the Hon. Hilary M. Weston (26th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario 1997–2002) and Chair of the Renaissance ROM Campaign, donated $10 million to the initiative to revitalize the Royal Ontario Museum – a contribution matched by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, The Garfield Weston Foundation created an initiative valued at £25 million designed to support mid to large-scale organizations impacted by the virus.

In recognition of his charitable work, Weston was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1990, awarded the Order of Ontario in 2005, and made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2017.

Weston was also a significant contributor to the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, donating over $1 million CDN annually.

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Galen Weston
galen, weston, language, watch, edit, current, loblaw, executive, chairman, spokesperson, willard, gordon, oont, october, 1940, april, 2021, british, canadian, billionaire, businessman, chairman, emeritus, george, weston, limited, canadian, food, processing, d. Galen Weston Language Watch Edit For the current Loblaw executive chairman and spokesperson see Galen Weston Jr Willard Gordon Galen Weston OC CVO OOnt October 29 1940 April 12 2021 was a British Canadian billionaire businessman and Chairman Emeritus of George Weston Limited a Canadian food processing and distribution company Weston and his family with an estimated net worth of US 8 7 billion are listed as the third wealthiest in Canada and 178th in the world by Forbes magazine June 2019 3 Galen Weston OC CVO OOntWeston at the Canadian Film Centre Gala in February 2013BornWillard Gordon Galen Weston 1940 10 29 October 29 1940 Marlow Buckinghamshire EnglandDiedApril 12 2021 2021 04 12 aged 80 Toronto Ontario CanadaNationalityBritishCanadianAlma materUniversity of Western OntarioOccupationBusinessmanTitleChairman Emeritus of George Weston Limited Chairman of The W Garfield Weston FoundationSpouse s Hilary Frayne m 1966 wbr ChildrenAlannah Weston 1 Galen Weston Jr RelativesW Garfield Weston father George Weston grandfather In addition to being one of the country s leading bakers through wholly owned subsidiary Weston Foods he was an experienced supermarket retailer who maintained a controlling interest in Loblaw Companies Canada s largest food retailer through a family holding company Weston was also head of the world s second largest luxury goods retailer as chairman of Holt Renfrew in Canada and the Selfridges Group owner of Selfridges in the United Kingdom Brown Thomas in Ireland the De Bijenkorf department store chain in the Netherlands and the recently acquired Ogilvy department store in Montreal Weston was chairman of The W Garfield Weston Foundation a Canadian charitable foundation that has made close to 200 million in donations over the past decade Contents 1 Early years 2 Ireland 3 Loblaw 3 1 Private labels 3 2 Chairmanship 3 3 Expansion 3 4 Free trade 3 5 Divestiture and growth 3 6 Retrenchment 4 Holt Renfrew 5 Windsor development in Florida 6 Selfridges 7 Personal life 8 Later life and death 9 Philanthropy 10 See also 11 Citations 12 Sources 13 External linksEarly years EditWeston was born to Reta Lila Howard 4 and W Garfield Weston at Marlow in Buckinghamshire approximately 30 miles 48 km west of London on October 29 1940 the youngest of nine children 5 6 Garfield Weston a Canadian businessman whose father George Weston established George Weston Limited had successfully expanded overseas during the 1930s by acquiring and modernising biscuit and bread factories throughout the United Kingdom In 1945 Weston and his family returned to Canada but moved frequently as his father pursued various business ventures which included supermarket chains in North America and Europe Growing up Weston worked in the stores that comprised his father s retail holdings He once noted I ve been a bag boy a thousand times in five languages 7 Between 1954 and 1959 he was educated in the United Kingdom at the elite London school St Paul s 8 Ireland EditIn 1962 after studying business administration at Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario 9 Weston moved to Dublin to set up a grocery store with his own money A second location followed and the outlets evolved into the Powers chain of supermarkets Weston found the Republic of Ireland a land of opportunity Southern Ireland in the early Sixties in terms of growth was where the real opportunities existed The population was coming to Dublin the European Community was becoming more and more aware of Ireland Lemass was beginning to take a different perspective upon capital coming into the country and it looked like there was going to be a major opportunity for growth 10 By 1965 Weston s business had grown to six grocery stores Four years later he expanded his business interests with the purchase of a bankrupt department store Todd Burns which he renamed Penneys Within a year four more stores opened all with a similar discount format Two years later the first Penneys outside of Dublin was launched followed by eleven more stores including one in Northern Ireland Meanwhile Weston married Hilary Frayne one of Ireland s top fashion models in 1966 In the early 1970s Weston expanded his grocery holdings with the acquisition of competitor Quinnsworth 10 Weston also purchased an interest in Brown Thomas the upscale Dublin department store in 1971 and gave it to his wife as a present 11 12 They eventually acquired full ownership in 1984 13 Loblaw EditIn 1971 Weston was asked by Garfield Weston Chairman of George Weston Limited to take a look at Loblaws the company s Ontario based supermarket chain which appeared headed for bankruptcy He found a company deeply in debt with too many small aging outlets and a market share recently cut in half The big question then was should this chain be closed up or should we make the enormous investment in money and time to return it to its former place I felt that from a retailing standpoint Loblaws was the nucleus of potentially the finest company in Canada 14 In February 1972 Weston was appointed chief executive officer of Loblaw Companies and immediately began consolidating operations Financing was arranged through a Weston family holding company to free Loblaws from store leaseback agreements Within a year 78 money losing locations were closed down Weston noted that as a 200 store chain we didn t look very good As a 100 store chain we looked very good indeed 15 Weston next hired designer Don Watt to remodel one of the chain s Toronto outlets on a budget of only 30 000 Loblaws is in such trouble that if it doesn t work it doesn t matter If it works good 16 The new store featured an expanded produce section moved upfront with huge photographs of fresh fruits vegetables meats and baked goods It used panelling and big moveable display bins in addition to new colours and logo Sales dramatically increased Loblaws also introduced a new advertising campaign featuring Canadian actor William Shatner of Star Trek fame who told viewers More than the price is right at Loblaws but by gosh the price is right 17 Weston also brought in new managerial talent that included former university schoolmate Dave Nichol and fellow McKinsey consultant Richard Currie who took on the role of change agents 18 In spite of no previous experience in the retail food industry Weston gave Nichol and Currie the authority to force change on an often reluctant senior management Nichol was made President of Loblaws in Ontario and later Loblaw International Merchants He became closely associated with the company s first in house brand No Name in 1978 and was behind the introduction of the President s Choice brand in 1983 19 Currie s knowledge of logistics led to him being appointed President of Loblaw Companies Limited and years later George Weston Limited 20 With the company s holdings in the United States also losing money particularly Chicago Illinois based National Tea with some 700 supermarkets Weston initiated a similar program of rationalization and renewal He and Currie rented a townhouse in a Chicago suburb and spent months devising a plan that saw hundreds of outlets closed Those stores that remained were renovated and rebranded in the hope of preserving the company s stake in the U S market Weston noted it was in the cards that National Tea should be or would be disposed of But I felt we had a tremendous foothold in the U S and it must not be lost almost at any price 14 Private labels Edit In addition to investing in store renovations early on Weston earmarked 40 million for the development of private label brands We found it essential to change products and services before redesigning their image For example nothing is more disappointing for a consumer than to buy a private label product because of the attractiveness of its redesigned label and then find that the same quality that had disappointed her previously had not been improved 21 In March 1978 Loblaw launched No Name a line of 16 generic products in simple black and yellow packaging with advertised savings of 10 to 40 percent over the national brands Within weeks some No Name items had sold out Months later the company opened its first No Frills store featuring No Name along with a limited selection of 500 items at discount prices 22 23 Consumer response was so favourable that it began converting older more marginal stores to No Frills outlets 24 As the product line up expanded Loblaw soon began experimenting with a variety of gourmet No Name items When sales of President s Blend Gourmet Coffee started outselling every other grocery item on the shelf the decision was made to introduce a premium line of store brand products In 1983 President s Choice was launched with each item endorsed by Loblaws President Dave Nichol and promoted through the popular advertising supplement Dave Nichol s Insider s Report No Name and President s Choice went on to account for almost a third of grocery item sales at Loblaw 25 Chairmanship Edit In March 1975 Weston was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of George Weston Limited 26 As Weston took charge of North American operations his brother Garry Weston based in London England continued to head Associated British Foods 27 Although market share in Ontario was regained the company continued to struggle In 1976 year end results showed a loss of 50 million for Loblaw while parent George Weston Limited lost 14 million the first recorded loss in the company s history That same year Loblaw sold three unprofitable divisions Chicago Syracuse and California State representing 280 stores or half of its remaining U S retail outlets 28 Within the first few years of Weston s chairmanship 300 million of non core assets were divested The one philosophical change as a result of my involvement with the company was to swing from a commitment to sales growth almost regardless of geography of industry sales came first earnings second to the question of return on capital employed and productivity in its most sophisticated sense 29 Well into the 1970s the company continued to sell assets to shore up its balance sheet 30 In 1978 both Loblaw and George Weston Limited returned to profitability and in 1979 the company showed record earnings of 76 million on sales of 6 billion 31 Expansion Edit On the retail side Loblaw expanded through the 1980s when it had become Canada s largest and most profitable grocery retailer 32 Loblaw had begun opening large format one stop shopping centres in Western Canada under the Real Canadian Superstore banner and were successful but when similar large scale hypermarkets were opened in Ontario they lost money and had to be scaled back 33 As a result of Loblaw owning much of its real estate rather than leasing the company was able to reduce the size of its Supercentres by simply renting out the redundant space 34 35 While retail formats were not easily transferable the company s control label products proved successful from one store format and part of the country to another By the 1990s No Name and President s Choice products accounted for 1 5 billion in revenue with sales that extended into the United States 33 31 Free trade Edit While Weston expressed personal support for free trade with the United States the signing of an agreement in 1988 resulted in another re evaluation of his company s asset mix Through the late 1980s and 1990s businesses that included biscuit and ice cream making bathroom tissue manufacturing milling sugar refining and chocolate bar makings were divested as domestic industries struggled to remain competitive 32 The historic east west dynamics of the Canadian economy as well as our small and scattered population created structural inefficiencies in everything we did And so in response to free trade we had to become competitive on our manufacturing side which meant staying with fewer product categories and only those that could succeed on the North American scale We restructured we consolidated and we did what had to be done for our long term survival 36 Divestiture and growth Edit In 1995 Loblaw divested the last of its retail holding in the United States while Weston oversaw the expansion of Canadian retail operations 33 30 Loblaw bought 80 store Agora Foods of Atlantic Canada for 81 million in late 1998 and soon thereafter announced the purchase of Quebec based Provigo for 1 7 billion 28 Meanwhile George Weston Limited continued to move away from resource based industries In 1998 the company E B Eddy Forest Products was divested for 800 million 37 East and West coast fish processing operations namely British Columbia Packers and Connors Brothers of New Brunswick were merged and sold 38 Weston greatly expanded the company s American bakery operations with the purchase of Bestfoods Baking Co from Unilever for U S 1 7 billion in 2001 39 With nineteen plants Weston acquired brands that included Entenmann s and Thomas English Muffins 39 Retrenchment Edit In 2006 Loblaw recorded its first loss in almost two decades as a program to centralize administrative functions and consolidate warehouse operations resulted in chronic supply chains problems and customer complaints of empty shelves In September Loblaw President John Lederer and Chairman Weston resigned Galen G Weston Weston s son became the new Executive Chairman with Allen Leighton appointed Deputy Chairman and later President Weston retained the post of Chairman and President of parent George Weston Limited With the introduction of a fix the basics program designed to re focus on food retailing and a drive to resolve logistical problems Loblaw returned to profitability in 2007 33 30 In 2008 several major assets were sold namely Neilson Dairy to Saputo for CAN 465 million and George Weston Bakeries and Stroehmann Bakeries in the United States to Mexican conglomerate Grupo Bimbo for US 2 5 billion Weston noted the sale of the American assets represented the company s biggest deal ever and that these transactions left Weston and Loblaw with a combined 5 billion in cash to use for future acquisitions 40 In 2009 Loblaw acquired T amp T Supermarket a chain of Chinese grocery stores with operations in British Columbia Alberta and Ontario 41 Holt Renfrew EditAlthough a bid by Weston and George Weston Limited to acquire the Hudson s Bay Company and its chain of department stores failed in 1979 a second opportunity to acquire a major Canadian retailer presented itself several years later 42 43 In 1986 Wittington Investments the Weston family holding company announced the purchase of Holt Renfrew amp Co Limited Press reports named a purchase price of 43 million for the fifteen store chain Holt Renfrew subsequently underwent an extensive renovation program 44 Windsor development in Florida EditIn 1989 Weston and his wife broke ground on the Windsor gated community in Vero Beach Florida a private residential development on Florida s east coast Promoted as a Village by the Sea the project combined Weston s interest in modern architecture with decades of first hand experience in commercial planning 45 The development sits on 425 acres 1 72 km2 with 350 residences of Anglo Caribbean design It has a full service equestrian center and an 18 hole golf course 46 Selfridges EditIn 2003 it was announced that Weston had completed a deal to buy Selfridges the British department store chain through the Weston family holding company 47 Press reports quoted a purchase price 598 million Plans to expand the number of stores were shelved in favour of extensive renovations to Selfridges flagship store the historic Oxford Street landmark in the heart of London s shopping district Daughter Alannah Weston 1 married to the grandson and heir of the late Sir Desmond Cochrane 3rd Baronet and his Lebanese wife Lady Cochrane Sursock was subsequently named creative director at Selfridges 48 The Selfridges Group has since expanded its holdings with the November 2010 acquisition of luxury department store chain De Bijenkorf of the Netherlands and the July 2011 purchase of the Ogilvy department store in downtown Montreal 49 Personal life EditGalen Weston is a member of the Weston family He married his wife Hilary Weston born Hilary Frayne on July 23 1966 They had two twin children Alannah and Galen Weston born in 1972 50 When in the United Kingdom the Westons reside at Fort Belvedere outside London while in Canada they reside in central Toronto 51 52 53 3 or on a private island in Georgian Bay Ontario 54 They spend their winters either at a gated community in Eleuthera and Harbour Island in the Bahamas or at the Windsor gated community in Vero Beach Florida 50 55 In August 1983 Weston was the target of an attempted kidnapping by the Irish Republican Army from his estate in Ireland The police had been tipped off about the attempt and set up an ambush for the kidnappers Upon the kidnappers arrival a gun fight broke out and two of the kidnappers were killed and five were arrested 56 57 Later life and death EditWeston retired in 2016 as chairman of George Weston Limited and was succeeded by his son 58 He died at his home in Toronto on April 12 2021 after a long illness 59 60 6 Philanthropy EditWeston was a supporter of a range of charitable causes both personally and as Chairman of the W Garfield Weston Foundation The Foundation assists Canadian students through the Garfield Weston Awards along with various scholarship programs and made possible the Weston Family Learning Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Weston Family Innovation Centre at the Ontario Science Centre The Foundation is a major contributor to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its work to preserve wilderness lands It also funds scientific research especially into Canada s ecologically fragile Arctic It further provides financial support to a variety of social organizations that include food banks and the Salvation Army in Canada He also served as president of the board of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and as chairman and chief fundraiser for the Lester B Pearson College of the Pacific In 2004 Weston and the Hon Hilary M Weston 26th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario 1997 2002 and Chair of the Renaissance ROM Campaign donated 10 million to the initiative to revitalize the Royal Ontario Museum a contribution matched by the W Garfield Weston Foundation 61 In 2020 amidst the COVID 19 pandemic The Garfield Weston Foundation created an initiative valued at 25 million designed to support mid to large scale organizations impacted by the virus 62 In recognition of his charitable work Weston was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1990 63 awarded the Order of Ontario in 2005 and made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2017 64 Weston was also a significant contributor to the Fraser Institute a conservative think tank headquartered in Vancouver British Columbia donating over 1 million CDN annually 65 See also EditList of billionaires Fort Belvedere Surrey the Westons home in BritainCitations Edit a b Alannah Weston Companies House Retrieved December 4 2020 Bloomberg March 25 2021 Bloomberg Billionaire Index Galen Weston Bloomberg LP a b Galen Weston and family Forbes com Archived from the original on August 13 2019 Retrieved June 6 2019 Schlager Neil Torrado Caputo Vanessa amp Mazurkiewicz Margaret April 14 2005 International Directory of Business Biographies St James Press ISBN 9781558625587 Retrieved April 14 2021 via Google Books Marsh J H 1988 The Canadian Encyclopedia 4 Hurtig Publishers ISBN 9780888303301 Retrieved December 12 2014 a b Austen Ian April 26 2021 W Galen Weston Who Transformed a Family Food Empire Dies at 80 The New York Times Retrieved April 26 2021 Weston will fight to make Loblaw No 1 Toronto Star February 11 1972 Galen Weston obituary The Times London April 15 2021 Retrieved April 30 2021 Huron University College at Western PDF p 67 Archived from the original PDF on February 14 2015 Retrieved February 13 2015 a b Weston awake Galen Weston and the Irish connection Irish Business November 1981 Our History Brown Thomas Retrieved April 14 2021 Galen Weston owner of Brown Thomas and Arnotts has died The Irish Times April 13 2021 Retrieved April 14 2021 Billionaire Galen Weston the businessman behind Penneys Brown Thomas and Arnotts dies aged 80 thejournal ie April 13 2021 Retrieved April 14 2021 a b Bringing order to a billion dollar empire Business Week September 8 1975 The summit meeting that changed course for giant Loblaw Toronto Star January 25 1973 Super art Quest April 11 1979 Cichon Steve June 14 2019 Buffalo in the 70s Captain Kirk hawks groceries for Loblaws The Buffalo News Retrieved April 14 2021 New Loblaw super managers called a bunch of wet ears Toronto Star January 25 1973 Summerfield Patti October 17 1994 Choice move at Loblaw strategyonline ca Retrieved April 14 2021 Weston p 2 National Design Council Chairman s Award for Design Management Design Canada 1974 Weston p 6 Loblaws opens first No Frills store in 1978 CBC News July 4 2018 Retrieved April 16 2021 Weston p 6 7 Weston p 8 Obituaries Telegraph April 14 2021 Galen Weston leader of his family s Anglo Canadian business empire and owner of Selfridges obituary The Telegraph ISSN 0307 1235 Retrieved April 19 2021 The Cain and Abel Problem The Economist No 648 May 17 2003 Retrieved April 16 2021 a b Understanding Loblaws PDF Coriolis Research 2005 The empire strikes back Financial Post 500 June 1982 a b c Bradburn 2019 a b Encyclopedia com a b Yusufali amp Clements 2019 a b c d Weston p 10 1988 annual report Toronto Loblaw Companies Limited Loblaw income plummets The Globe and Mail Toronto February 22 1989 Weston s George Weston Limited 2009 Yakabuski Konrad August 2 2007 Eddy no match for global forces The Globe and Mail Retrieved April 19 2021 About US cloverleaf ca Retrieved April 19 2021 a b Bannister Nicholas February 20 2001 Unilever lands 1 2bn for food group The Guardian Retrieved November 13 2020 Weston gets ready to buy The Globe and Mail December 11 2008 Loblaw Completes Purchase of T amp T Supermarket Business The Toronto Star September 28 2009 Retrieved April 16 2021 A chronology of key events in the history of the Hudson s Bay Company Canadian Business The Canadian Press July 29 2013 Retrieved April 16 2021 Malcom Andrew H March 27 1979 Hudson s Bay Getting A 2d Suitor The New York Times Retrieved April 16 2021 Kearney amp Ray 2002 p 118 Windsor Vision Windsorflorida com Retrieved April 14 2021 Liao Christina February 24 2017 Windsor Florida Is the Exclusive Seaside Enclave You Probably Don t Know About But Should Architectural Digest Retrieved April 16 2021 Strauss Marina May 13 2003 Weston set to acquire Selfridges The Globe and Mail Retrieved April 14 2021 Alannah Weston daddy s girl who makes Selfridges sparkle Daily Telegraph Archived from the original on January 26 2018 Van Praet Nicolas July 29 2011 Selfridges Group buys Ogilvy Financial Post Retrieved February 12 2021 a b At home with Hilary Weston The Irish Times February 8 2014 Retrieved April 16 2021 Hillary Weston Art Philanthropy and the family name Dolce December 7 2011 Retrieved April 16 2021 Patterson Craig October 20 2014 Eataly Partners with Canadian Owned Retailer Retail Insider Retrieved April 16 2021 Kornbluth Jesse August 1 2011 An Elegant Florida Escape Architectural Digest Retrieved April 16 2021 Pullen Kelly November 28 2013 The Plutocrats Playground inside Hilary and Galen Weston s exclusive enclave of palatial vacation homes Toronto Life Retrieved April 16 2021 Taki July 5 2014 I think I just went to the greatest ball in history The Spectator Archived from the original on July 12 2014 Retrieved April 29 2020 Attempts to Abduct Rich Businessman in Ireland is Foiled The New York Times Associated Press August 8 1983 Retrieved April 20 2021 Collins Liam April 15 2021 The day the IRA tried and failed to kidnap billionaire retail giant Galen Weston at his Wicklow home Independent ie Retrieved April 20 2021 Nguyen Linda amp Deschamps Tara April 13 2021 Retail and grocery magnate W Galen Weston dead at 80 after long illness CTV News The Canadian Press Retrieved April 14 2021 W Galen Weston founder of Windsor and developer of Orchid Island dies at 80 32963 Features 32963 News April 22 2021 Retail giant W Galen Weston has died at age 80 CBC News April 13 2021 Weston brings 20 M gift Toronto Star March 19 2004 New grants available in ongoing coronavirus crisis Museums Association Retrieved January 8 2021 Office of the Governor General of Canada Order of Canada citation Queen s Printer for Canada Retrieved January 3 2021 New Year Honours List United Kingdom The London Gazette Archived from the original on December 30 2017 Retrieved December 30 2017 Haig Terry April 14 2021 Noted businessman and philanthropist W Galen Weston dies peacefully at 80 Radio Canada International Retrieved April 16 2021 Sources EditBradburn Jamie June 19 2019 Loblaw Companies Limited The Canadian Encyclopedia Historica Canada Retrieved April 19 2021 George Weston Ltd Encyclopedia com Retrieved April 19 2021 Kearney Mark amp Ray Randy 2002 I Know That Name The People Behind Canada s Best Known Brand Names from Elizabeth Arden to Walter Zeller Toronto Dundurn Press ISBN 1 55002 407 8 Reinventing Loblaws PDF weston ca Archived PDF from the original on April 14 2021 Retrieved April 14 2021 Yusufali Sasha amp Clements Derrick March 26 2019 George Weston Limited The Canadian Encyclopedia Historica Canada Retrieved April 19 2021 External links EditForbes com Forbes World s Richest People Order of Canada citation Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Galen Weston amp oldid 1048678930, wikipedia, wiki, book, books, library,

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