TORONTO (FNS) -- Loblaw Cos. here has suggested that it might bank on the brand recognition of its President's Choice or PC name to expand into a range of nonsupermarket-related ventures, including insurance, mutual funds and the travel business.
The company already operates a President's Choice banking venture, PC Financial, with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, offering customers no-fee accounts, free checks and no-fee access to more than 4,000 bank machines across Canada. It has already signed up more than 200,000 customers at 154 Loblaw stores.
Loblaw chairman Galen Weston said in a recent speech that the PC name, "one of the most recognized brands in the country," may be expanded into other services. He said advances in electronic technology have created a whole new area of brand extension.
"Who knows where this new model will take us next? Maybe into insurance, maybe into travel, maybe into mutual funds, undoubtedly into cyberspace.
"The lesson is clear. New technologies have opened up wonderful opportunities for established brands like President's Choice," Weston said.
Loblaw already has travel agencies in some stores, but they operate under their own corporate name. Loblaw also has approval from the Canadian government to set up a trust company, allowing it to offer financial services directly to its customers.