Well, it's starting. More rebranding in the name of a streamlined corporate identity. This time, it's the Metro chain of supermarkets which, having taken over the former A&P Canada, are now starting to rebrand Dominion, A&P, The Barn, Ultra (which itself was a holdover from the former Miracle Food Mart chain) and Loeb stores under the "Metro" banner.
I've been reading numerous blogs and rants about the sense of this move and of course, I think that the person who came up with this idea is sharing the same frontal "Loeb" as the guy who decided to rename virtually every upper-middle scale department store in the U.S. "Macy's"
Arrogant & Petulant, this move has been seen by some as an attempt by them damn Frenchies to colonize the Ontario grocery landscape. Of course, these people neglect to mention that the biggest of the big, Loblaws (headquartered in Brampton, ONTARIO), has been colonizing Quebec's grocery landscape for years now. Sure, you still see the occasional Provigo around, but for the most part, it's "Loblaws", complete with the defiant "s" at the end (albeit sans apostrophe) across Quebec. Of course, the granddaddy of the Quebec chains, Steinberg (and its "colonial" brand Miracle (Food) Mart) is long gone and largely forgotten by anyone under 40. We also cannot forget the maritimers who brought the name "Sobeys" to us at the expense of Food City and, for the most part, IGA. Breathing down all their necks is the ultimate example of marketing-by-steamroller, Wal-Mart and their not-as-good-as-they'd-like-you-to-think Supercentres. Forget it, Zellers. The lowest price may be the law, but by my book, if you sell crap, I don't care how cheap it is. If I want Giant Tiger or Dollarama, I'll go there, not to a store that's so desperate for a reinvention, I'm actually GRATEFUL that Lord & Trailer got its grubby hands on it. But I digress...
Regardless of origin, how a company can simply toss away a brand which has over 80 years of equity behind it is puzzling. I'm still calling The Source "Radio Shack" (which of course was a forced name change), and The Bay Queen Street store "Simpsons". Whatever the name of the locally Metro-owned full-service supermarket in my neighbourhood is called, most people I know will still call it "expensive". And for that reason, I think I'll stick to No Frills.
Photos taken near Major MacKenzie Drive East and Bayview Avenue, Richmond Hill, Ontario and Eglinton Avenue East and Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario on Friday, September 26, 2008.