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The superstore construction mastermind

Nick Patone, BEng 96
By Damon van der Linde

50 under 50: Corporate leadership

Nick Patone, BEng 96 “Concordia gave me a foundation to build off of and help give me the technical background I needed.”

Loblaw Companies Limited has more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations across Canada under different banners, including Shoppers Drug Mart, The Real Canadian Superstore and Joe Fresh.

These stores are a part of the daily lives of so many people that how that they are built and designed can not only have a significant effect on the success of the company, but also on how Canadians shop, and even on the environment.

As Senior Director of Retail Construction and Development at Loblaw Companies, Nick Patone oversees everything to do with building new stores and modernizing existing locations. This means taking the lead on decisions that range from how to integrate a new grocery store into a busy urban centre, to implementing new technology such as self-checkouts and more efficient refrigeration systems.

Proudest career moment

“When I started working for the Loblaw Companies banner, I was a student at Concordia and working part-time at a grocery store. Three years ago, I was promoted to a national role overseeing the entire department for engineering and construction.”

Concordia’s contribution

“Concordia gave me a foundation to build off of and help give me the technical background I needed. I was studying with engineers who are logical thinkers in how they approach a problem, or see things in a certain way. This thought process comes in handy when you’re working in my sort of role.”

How to overcome challenges at work

“One of the challenges is dealing with politics, how to manoeuvre through those waters and build those relationships. You learn by observing other people and how they approach similar situations, then you develop your own style.”

Best advice for leaders

“Stay humble, stay grounded, listen to others and support them, because that’s what we’re here for. Sometimes people will come to you for advice about solving a problem and it’s important to take the time and listen to them.”

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