Who We Are
The Real Canadian Wholesale Club opened its first store in Saskatoon in 1991. At 48,000 square feet the new outlet offered bulk discount prices without the membership fees of the "big box" club stores.
In 1994, The RCWC expanded to six stores in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and two stores each in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. Loblaw Companies Limited noted in the annual report of that year, "The wholesale club concept continues to evolve as the market niche is explored. Sizes of the stores range from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet and the clubs cater to supplying the needs of small independent retail grocers, small businesses of many types and institutions. Product lines now include a selection of fresh produce, a large variety of tobacco products, institutional packs and general merchandise supplies for more small business needs. "
By 1996 the target market focus had become refined. Real Canadian Wholesale Club spokesperson Dave Ryzebol says, "Our target markets are restaurants and small businesses that can’t justify paying delivery costs for small orders of $500 to $1,000 that they need to buy wholesale. They don’t always make procurements in case lots or quantities large enough to justify the additional expense of truck delivery."
Meanwhile on the eastern side of the country, LCL operations included regional cash and carry outlets. Atlantic Cash and Carry operated in the Maritimes and NG Cash and Carry operated in Ontario. Then in 1998 Loblaw Companies Limited acquired Provigo and in the process took charge of Presto cash and carry stores in Quebec. RCWC continued to expand reaching a total of 32 stores and made its first foray into Southern Ontario with a new location in Whitby, east of Toronto, in 2003. Eventually, the cash and carry stores, Club Entrepot Provigo, Presto and RCWC merged in 2005 to form a national banner.
By 2008 the banner honed its branding and became simply Wholesale Club in English Canada and Club Entrepot in Quebec. The total number of stores from coast to coast is currently 63. The key features of the stores are:
- No membership fee
- Restaurant and commercial quality products
- Product sizes including individual, club pack, case, pallet
- Multi –unit discount pricing (paying less per unit when you buy more than 1)
- Extended opening hours for the benefit of our business customers