Loblaw is testing a small-format discount grocery concept called 'Box by No Frills'. Its prototype Calgary store opened May 31st and according to the Globe and Mail, it has been well received. More could open across Canada.
The Calgary store is about 10,000 square feet. Loblaw's discount grocer No Frills stores are usually about 25,000 square feet. The company's Real Canadian Superstore's are considerably larger still and include merchandise besides food (Joe Fresh clothing for example).
Smaller-format discount grocery stores could be of tremendous benefit in more densely populated urban areas, including those deemed 'food deserts' for their lack of grocery offerings. Pedestrian-friendly urban areas should include grocery options ideally within 400 metres of a residence and in some poorer downtown areas, that is unrealistic. The Box by No Frills could be a solution.