Loblaw Goes to Court to Protect Execs from Disgruntled Vendor

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Loblaw Goes to Court to Protect Execs from Disgruntled Vendor

Affadavits filed in Toronto Superior Court alleged that senior executives at Loblaw Cos. Ltd. have been repeatedly harassed and threatened by a food supplier after the chain decided to stop doing business with the company three years ago, according to a published report.

The officials were in court to enforce a no-contact order against the supplier, Mitra Kermani of Misom Halal Food Products in Toronto.

Kermani, who was convicted of criminal harassment last year, has sent "thousands" of threatening e-mails; followed staffers around; phoned executives day and night; and turned up unexpectedly at their homes, prompting Loblaw to hire private security to guard one employee’s residence, the court documents alleged.

"We believe the court documents speak for themselves," company spokeswoman Elizabeth Margles told the Canadian publication the Financial Post.

The supplier has denied that her statements to executives were threatening, and promised not to contact the executives anymore. Among the 50 or so people that she is prohibited from contacting are executive chairman Galen Weston and his father, Galen Weston Sr. who is Loblaw's former chairman and a current board member of parent company George Weston, Ltd.

Kermani's attempt to sue Loblaws for over CAN$60 million was dismissed by a Toronto judge in 2007.

In other Loblaw news, the company has rolled out its new Great Food format, with three stores in Ontario, according to a published report.

Described by Loblaw as "a return to Loblaw's strength in innovation for fresh food selection and quality, and in the consumer retail experience," the retail concept offers such time-saving items as chopped vegetables for stir-fry cooking, and pre-seasoned premium meats, in addition to artisan breads and a vast array of local and international cheeses.