Loblaw places restrictions on gift card offer after bread price-fixing scheme

FILE PHOTO - Various brands of bread sit on shelves in a grocery store in Toronto on Wednesday Nov. 1, 2017.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

VANCOUVER - Loblaw Companies Ltd. says people who receive a $25 gift card intended as a goodwill gesture in light of the company's participation in a bread price-fixing scheme will have that sum deducted from any future court settlement.

The company announced the measure and several other restrictions as it opened registration for the cards.

People can register for the gift cards at a Loblaws webpage from today, Jan. 8, until May 8.

It says recipients of the cards are not prohibited from participating in a class-action lawsuit, but their portion of any possible damages awarded in the future will be $25 less.

Several class-action lawsuits have been started against the company since it revealed last month it and parent company George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) participated in what they called an industry-wide arrangement over 14 years to co-ordinate the prices of some bread products.

Loblaw (TSX:L) also says it reserves the right to limit the number of cards it distributes. The company previously estimated three million to six million consumers would sign up and receive the card, costing Loblaw $75 million to $150 million.

The company adds customers won't be able to use the $25 card for certain things, including alcohol or tobacco.

In Western Canada, Loblaw operates the Real Canadian Superstore, Wholesale Club, Extra Foods and Independent grocery stores.

If you want to register for the gift card, go here.

If you are interested in donating the gift card you receive to a B.C. food bank, you can find one near you here.


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