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Founded by Theodore Loblaw, Loblaws stores used to operate across Canada until the early 1960s, when most locations in western Canada were re-branded as SuperValu, and later as Real Canadian Superstore. The company also once operated stores in upstate New York and northwest Pennsylvania. These were sold to Bells Markets in the mid-1970s. Some of the Loblaws stores in northwestern Pennsylvania continued operation into the early 1990s.
Actor William Shatner did a number of television commercials for Loblaws in the 1970s, and finished the ad spots by saying originally, "At Loblaws, more than the price is right; but, by gosh the price is right!" later shortened to, "At Loblaws, more than the price is right."
Beginning in 2008, some new and renovated Loblaws stores were given a new store format and were named Loblaw Great Food, dropping the red-orange curved-L logo. Stores under this banner are also subject to slightly different collective-agreement terms with the United Food and Commercial Workers, the union representing Loblaw employees. The chain's location on the site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, opened in late 2011, is promoted as simply Loblaws and uses the familiar "L" logo, but is officially named "Loblaws Great Food", indicating that similar terms are in place at that store. On July 19, 2013, Loblaws introuced their new concept "Loblaws CityMarket" in North Vancouver, BC. Loblaws CityMarkets are now also operational in Ontario and Quebec.