TORONTO — Loblaw Cos. here has been suffering from widespread out-of-stocks and capital underinvestment and could soon see a shift in top management, according to a report by an analyst also based here. In a report detailing strategic missteps by Loblaw and other major Canadian grocers, Perry Caicco of CIBC World Markets said Loblaw’s store shelves have been blanked with green “out of stock” tags, as the company may have tried to reduce inventory in December to boost its fourth-quarter earnings report, due out Feb. 7. He also said he thinks current management, led by Galen Weston, chairman and a member of the Weston family, which owns a large stake in the chain, could be subject to a shake-up. “We are not going to add to the speculation about the specific nature of a management change, but suffice it to say that the current structure is not likely to be maintained past the second quarter of this year,” Caicco wrote in the report. Loblaw could not be reached for comment. Other top executives include Allan Leighton, deputy chairman, and Mark Foote, president.
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