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Loblaw Companies Ltd L-T on Friday said it would spend $2-billion to expand its business in 2023 and create more than 6,000 new jobs in retail, supply chain, technology and construction in Canada.

The Canadian retailer’s investment comes at a time when it is seeing strength in its pharmacy business, as well as a steady demand for groceries amid rising fears of a recession.

Loblaw also expects to use the investment to grow and improve its stores; it said it will open 38 new or relocated stores and renovate or convert nearly 600 others.

Currently, the retailer’s network of corporate and independent operations employs about 220,000 Canadians.

In February, the company had forecast annual earnings above analysts’ expectations after it posted upbeat fourth-quarter results, helped by steady demand for groceries, cough and cold medicines, as well as high-margin beauty and cosmetics products.

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