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Who’s the scrooge at Real Canadian Superstore? **update with response January 14th, 2015

With the cost of groceries continually rising, and the number of families and singles feeling the pinch because the income doesn’t magically rise accordingly, shopping at places like Real Canadian Superstore is par the course for nearly everyone these days.

Even with weekly sale items and lower prices, I’ve still really noticed an increase in the number of people buying about to expire items that have always been priced with a bright neon pink 50% off stickers. Both the Superstore on King George Highway and on Scott Rd. in Delta use them for non-meat items usually dated to expire that day, or within a couple days.

However as I was waiting for some luncheon meat at the deli counter in the Scott Road location this evening, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between a senior couple shopping nearby. They were looking through all the deli salad items with pink stickers, but couldn’t find any that said 50% off – they all said 30% off instead and that made a big difference in their buying ability. It was a big issue for them clearly as they discussed how much money they had.

So I started looking around and sure enough every food item in the discount bins, or about to expire, was no longer 50% off, but 30% off -Not a 50% sticker to be had, anywhere.

While paying at the till, I asked the cashier about it and she nodded her head and shared with me quietly that indeed, the 50% stickers were no more and everyone was talking about it.
She also said store employees predict the amount of product about to be wasted is going to go up and this new change was just recently implemented within the last two weeks. People buy it at 50% off, but not at 30%, it makes that much of a difference to them. So the store is willing to take that chance and maybe toss product,than leave it at the 50% off mark and offload it to someone who likely really relies on it.

What I don’t know yet – I’ve sent off an inquiry – is if this is a chain decision, or just these stores – if you’ve noticed the same change in your local Superstore, I would like to hear about it!

Now, this may not seem like a big deal to the average reader, but I know for a fact that a lot of low income seniors,singles and families seek out those pink sticker items to make ends meet. If they could buy something fresher, or more expensive, they clearly would.Those stickers can make the difference between having cheese and not having cheese, or bread or whatever.  I have seen people with entire baskets full of 50% off discounted items.

It’s sad enough that there are so many people hurting that relying on discounted items is a necessity, but it’s even sadder that a company that has been busy making strategic acquisitions in order to increase profits and dividends feels the need to target discount items in order to improve their bottom line. Sure it’s their right, but seriously?

Now those seniors I mentioned in the beginning? I watched and they didn’t end up getting any of the items because for them, there is clearly a big difference between 30% off and 50% off. On a limited income, every single cent counts. And to make this change just weeks before Christmas is a move even the Scrooge would think twice about.

Real Canadian Superstore gets two thumbs down for a scrooge move hitting those with the least to spend, right as the holidays hit. It’s no wonder the lines at the food banks are so long.

*** UPDATE

After Head office refused to respond to any inquiries on this pricing change, I tried again with the online customer help centre, and voila, a well-crafted response has been drafted by the communications team. Here is why the discount was reduced. Clink on the image below to see full size.

Superstore profit

109 Comments on Who’s the scrooge at Real Canadian Superstore? **update with response January 14th, 2015

  1. also try to find a BC apple or BC vegatables in season

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s another thing to watch for…. I don’t buy any veg,produce or meat there,just staples and household goods, but I have heard of stores billing BC product that actually turns out to be from Washington.

      This just bites for a lot of low income people. I heard from one reader who said the same thing happened at her IGA – the 50% off product was raised to 20% off.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Our local IGA, in North Langley, used to sell day old baked goods for 50% off; now they’re 25% off.
        I no longer shop there because of it.
        And yes, I relied on the 50% off tag. Can’t afford to pay full price for baked goods on my pension.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh Sharon, I hate hearing this. Maybe a call to these stores too is in order. I understand that they are not a charity( as mentioned below) but in all honesty, I think it’s good business to keep the policy.

          My hope here is that if the stores realize what an impact that difference has on peoples ability to feed themselves, they will reconsider.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It is a very real problem. We only buy meat that had the 30% stickers on them. Once in a while we pay full price but that would not be more than few times a year. Meat is so darned expensive when living on limited low income pensions.and retirement incomes.
            For us it is not too bad as there are only two people here at home. For those with families to feed and children to clothe, it must be a nightmare.
            Thanks

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            • Seems to me there would be a need to pair up those who enjoy hunting with those who would be grateful to have the food source.. no? I know quite a few seniors who miss harvesting their own food.

              What a sad statement when people rely on the discounted product. It is generally still good – depending on the values of the outlet it is purchased from – but regardless, it’s not where our seniors should be, in my opinion.

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          • Ok this is late in responding but IGA????? Hell you might as well drive into Vancouver and shop at Meinhardts. IGA is so non competitive price wise, that 50% off of their day old product would still be more expensive then regularly priced goods at Safeway.

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    • Wow! 50 comments and climbing. Dont mess with peoples’ groceries………

      Liked by 1 person

    • At the Cashier in Canadian Super Store, she asked for my points card, which I had just recently received. After swiping she tells me that I had not loaded the specials so would not receive the discounted price. I asked why Super Store doesn’t just give the discount with the card — why are they making their customers work for them. The Cashier told me, ‘to receive the discount I had to do something for it’! I told her, I DID do something —– I shopped in their store!! She didn’t get it!

      I notice, Shoppers Drug Mart is using this same system, you have to go online to load your card with the current discounts.

      What’s with this?? Am I the only one that hates this system! What if you don’t have a computer or don’t have access to online! Why are the customers having to work for the discounts when we shop in their stores?

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      • Thats a really good point Lisa-I would ask you to put this question to Loblaws customer service and keep me posted on the reply.

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      • Their system is very glitchy. I’ve had weeks where I’ve loaded the offers both online from their site and through the mobile app and when I make a purchase in store the points were not added to my account. It’s usually a quick fix with the ‘points inquiry’ form, but that is additional work that the customer has to do for a Loblaws problem.

        I think they do this hoping that people won’t load their offers and then they’ll buy the product and not realize they didn’t receive the discount. It wouldn’t surprise me if this really was a motive behind it. Companies have been deceitful in the past after all.

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  2. At the Extra Foods where I live, owned by that same company….They have recently had major price jumps on a lot of things. 1.68 on dish detergent. As an example. This kind of increase is on a lot of regular items where people have a lot of loyalty habits.
    I actually buy a lot of the 50% off stuff if I am able to freeze it for later. I love discount bins.

    Its an evil corporation. Bah humbug. Happy holidays Laila.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I noticed a huge increase in their prices as well, on items there is no explanation or valid reason to merit that increase. Bah humbug is right. Apparently 20%-30% is the new 50%.

    There is no possible way for incomes to keep pace with these increases.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I shop often at the Superstore on Grandview Highway in Vancouver. Some changes I’ve noticed over the last few months:

    Not as much in store baking of bread being done. They made some interesting breads (12 grain etc.) that were less expensive than the brand name breads (and were actually affordable) and now are doing very small batches or none at all.

    No large bags of no name teabags – they were 300 or 400 count and cheaper per bag than the 100 count bags I must buy now (because there’s nothing else as cheap). I make pots of tea with a lot of bags so I can reheat it and have VERY strong tea – I’m in it for the caffeine content, not the flavour. 😉

    If I shop later in the day, the 24 package flats of no name ramen that are about $4.50 (less than $.20 a package) are gone. They are putting out less stock.

    These are the ones that I can remember now – there are others. What I’ve noticed that the changes have in common are that they are all budget items at the bottom end of the market that are removed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, that, too. Many No Name products are no longer available. I used to buy chicken and beef broth by the case. They don’t have it any more. Many no name products are gone. AND, they discontinued their bulk long grain white rice! What the heck is with that?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I noticed this as well. And in lieu of a lower price, many prices have been raised yet you get points for a product instead.

        Here is the issue with the points. Today I was told it’s a minimum 20,000 point redemption. So if you have 15,000 points, which works out to $15.00, you can’t use them.

        Meaning singles or couples who don’t use a lot of groceries really get dinged the most on all purchases thanks to higher prices, and the amount of time it takes for them to accumulate points.

        Is Real Canadian discriminating against lower income shoppers? Are they phasing out the essentials you’ve mentioned in place of Presidents choice only?

        Liked by 1 person

        • It could also be that they’re pushing their no name brands into the No Frills chain that’s now operating out here owned by Loblaws as well. Not too mention Bulk Barn.

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    • I also noticed that if you buy the specials, you better be there Friday morning. Except for pizza. Always seems to be a special on pizza and stock. No where else though. I only hope that the unsold bread goes to the food bank instead of the green bin. This new policy has the wife pretty choked, and the racks of bread, etc., overflowing instead of moving it.

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      • The superstores in Surrey and Delta both have daily discount bread racks, and clearance items in random spots around the store.

        Funny story though. Once while shopping in the Scott road store during their Dollar Daze event, on a Thursday afternoon – the last day of the sale- I noticed the manager going around and taking off the little tags indicating to shoppers where the real extreme deals were. It was only early afternoon and the sale didn’t end until closing that day,so clearly if the tags are gone its harder for shoppers to find those real deals.

        We followed him up and down two aisles before asking him why he was taking off those tags when the sale wasnt over,and he refused to answer. Literally he just refused to answer and walked right back to the front of the store and up into the offices.

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  5. I shop at the Super Store in North Van and frankly, I haven’t seen a 50% off sticker in quite a long while. It’s 30% or nothing. You really have to watch the “best before” date because often the food is still on the shelf even though it has expired and there’s no discount sticker on it. Safeway is famous for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Major chains such as SuperStore do not make changes unless they know it works for them. The change from 50% to 30% is, in my opinion, simply a way to take advantage of the poverty situation in B.C. SuperStore is now part of the poverty business. They make money off of the poor. Its that simply. Even at 50% companies such as Superstore still make money. They recognize many in B.C. can not afford the full price. I’d suggest they are gambling that many of these shoppers will do what they have to, to provide the food their families need. Its just like landlords who jack up the rent,. They know people have to live somewhere. B.C. Hydro continues to jack up rates, they know people need light. Superstore is just a little late to the poverty business, but they’ll do fine.

    Some things are less expensive at Superstore, but many items aren’t. You can get a better deal at London Drugs, Save on Food, Thrifties when they have sales. I can purchase bleach at any of the other stores, on sale, for less than Superstore. It pays to check the flyers before you shop. I realize many can’t go to more than one store given the time, distance, transporation costs, etc

    Some one should sent a letter to that smilie man who does the commericals and ask him what is going on. He looks nice, but really, he is the heir to one of the largest fortunes in Canada. That is how they got rich and intend to stay that way.

    Now if you go to Richmond, 5 Rd. and Steveston Highway, you can see their newest entry to the market, Loblaws Market. It is upscale, small, boutique in nature. Prices are actually quite reasonable. I guess the economically disenfranchised get to make up the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ” That smilie man that does the commercials” I think that is Galen Weston Jr, no? I’ll give him a call Monday 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • part of the problem is food, is simply costing more to produce, in some cases. Transportation costs, i.e. gas, have gone up. The dates of “cheap” food are over. We’ve had about 40 yrs of it in North America and I would suggest those days are gone. the problem is wages have not kept up with rising food costs, not have social benefits.

        If pensions were adequate and indexed at the “real” rate of inflation seniors would be fine. But indexation has always been artificially low.

        If salaries were $15 an hr, as min. wage, there wouldn’t be the problems there currently are.

        the demographics have changed in Greater Vancouver. The people who purchased “no name” brands are not necessary to the financial success of corporations, that is why the products are gone. A lot of produce lines are gone and a lot which used to be produced in Canada/USA are now being produced overseas and then shipped here.

        have a look at the products. it will say, manufactured for or prepared for but country of origin, no where to be found.

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        • It may cost a bit more to produce food (I am not a farmer) but the increased costs at the retail end of anything that is more than 5% is not based on production-of-food costs. The ‘extra’ may be attributed to merchandising, transportation or running costs (and, no doubt, profit) but they don’t go to the farmer or the rancher. This cost of living increase is all corporate based and mostly all profit. A partial answer is going direct to the grower but, honestly, the grower has ‘expectations’ too and they get those expectations from what is the price in the store for what they sell and what they want to buy. Face it – the system is founded on someone (usually organized groups that impose licenses and regulations to keep out others) conspiring to getting MORE (greed) and the rest of us trying to catch up (chasing the Jones’s). We think licenses are there for the consumer’s protection but, really, they are MOSTLY there to protect the income of the license holder.

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        • I make 25$ an hour can’t complain

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    • The overflow on the racks do say otherwise, though.

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    • Stopped at the Loblaws upscale market and found real bargains but also really bad ripoffs. Bread was good. Veggies high but poor quality but a good cut of steak was $44.00 a kg or about $20/lb and that was NOT the best cuts which hit $50+ a kg. It is strange how ‘upscale’ decor translates into high food prices. The upscale was just varnished plywood but made to look funky. “Raise the price of broccoli!”

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  7. Thanks Laila for your great articles.

    Here in Duncan I do believe that the 30% off sticker price has been in place for some time now. I have stopped buying items as such. If it’s expired why would I want to pay 70% of fresh?

    What I do now is flyer shop, watch for the really good sales, and use coupons. It’s a bonus if I find other stores with 50% off their products.

    There’s no other way to do it these days. I have no one to pool my money with. And it really does make a big difference at the end of the month.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sigh. I would like to see all Superstore and affiliate brand stores go back to those 50% discount coupons for about to expire product. It’s disappointing on many levels,to see a corporate brand with this kind of presence in the market, make a move like this in particular with so many loyal customers.

      It’s the right thing to do. Even if this is something they’ve started already at other stores, it’s really disheartening to see this move happen in these stores right before Christmas. A lump of coal in Weston’s stocking this year. Thank you for the kind words Jackie:)

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  8. misallocationofcapital // December 5, 2014 9:51 pm at 9:51 pm // Reply

    Real Canadian Superstore is not a charity…it’s a business, in business to make the maximum profit, by supplying those customers who can pay. And perhaps the margins at individual stores are improved somewhat with this new policy.

    But it’s not entirely their choice.

    I shop at similar stores where I live too and the real problem is inflation. Bulk sizes are disappearing. Box weights are getting ridiculously small – some cereal boxes weigh as little as 300g! Staple items on sale are becoming scarce, while more expensive frilly packaged foods remain discounted. Selections of brands are smaller. Popular or reasonably-priced items (dried cranberries, bulk 100% maple syrup, some oatmeal here…) tend to be out-of-stock much of the time…and so on.

    People should focus on overall price inflation instead and start blaming the responsible party: the currency-debasing, deficit-spending, money-printing federal government and its central bank.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I sympathize. I really I do. Been there. But that is what comes from being part of the herd……you eat where they eat, you void where they void. You will die when and where you are supposed to. In the meantime, you get picked off by the predators one by one until you are old and then it is your turn no matter what. Welcome to the Sarengeti.
    Only real option is to get out of there. Get off the grid. Find Neo. Or try doing it on your own or with a small group of co-operators. Chances? Slim to none. Chances on the Matrix? Zero. Good luck.

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    • This is where people need to start taking a look at promoting and pushing for changes in our communities like more community gardens that allow people on the coast at least, to grow items nearly all year long. Food co-operatives or pooling with neighbours and friends to buy in larger amounts to divide out. Invest in a freezer, again buy in bulk if you can and freeze fruit, veg, meat all on sale. Even cheese can be frozen. Milk.

      I think people need to complain about these changes. Not just the coupons, but the lack of items. For some people it makes the difference between surviving and not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s fine JDC, if you want to be a defeatist, but I am curious as you state; “I sympathize… ….been there”.
      And where are you now that your sympathy is all you can contribute?

      How about getting together as a community and putting an end to commercial thievery, where we get rid of inflation for the sake of profit, instead of it being an effect of supply and demand?

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      • Sorry, JRT. I left. Remote island. Never to return. Read; Flashboys by Micheal Lewis about just one small part of the MYTH that is the free market (there are many other books from which to choose). There ain’t one. Never will be. Never was. Only model I have seen to be evenly remotely fair is barter, community, share and grow and even that is fraught with problems. Btw – I am NOT defeatist in the least. I’m OUT. I’ll struggle with the unstructured nano-markets in my neighbourhood rather than join those who trust the system. Bottom line: if it is a large establishment system (food, water, electricity, energy, ferries, police, health care education, politics), it is corrupt and/or dangerous. Having said that, I am not pure at all. Still do a Costco run for bags of rice. Buy tools. Consume petrochemicals. NOT pure. Just a bit closer than I was.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. IGA Marketplace recently went from 50% to 25% off on “about to expire” baked goods and deli sandwiches. The amount of unsold 25% off baked goods is noticeably greater than previously. The store still has 50% off on “about to expire” freshmeat and fish. Dairy products now use a “cents off” sticker and the value is usually somewhere between 10 and 20%.

    More disconcerting is the ongoing shrinkage of package sizes without concurrent price reductions. This is a disguised price hike that should raise a lot more consumer and political ire than it does.

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    • omg don’t get me started on that smaller package size for the same price.

      Biggest scam in the universe. Take a look at crackers,chips, pretty much anything and you will find smaller grams for the same price. For example looking at unsalted tortilla chips, the bags of the same brand, all plain, just different shapes… gives you three totally different sizes!! It is the same damn tortilla chip, just in a different shape!

      This happens with many pre-packaged products. And also in produce if you buy for example a case of apples or a bag of potatoes. Weigh before buying. You can always find a bag with an extra pound… or prevent yourself from buying a bag with less than full weight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nonconfidencevote // December 6, 2014 8:04 am at 8:04 am // Reply

        I noticed that happened to ALL suppliers of frozen juice several years ago (a side note; wouldnt that be considered “collusion” iunder the Combines Investigation Act?).
        Suddenly the cans went from 340ml to 295ml. The price remained the same.
        Can you imagine the uproar if they did that overnight with beer?

        Profits, profits, profits is todays mantra……until the barbarians are at the gates.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve noticed another trend at the Thrifty’s I shop at (and have every week for over 5 years) and that’s specific sizes *usually the larger boxes (cereal, etc)* are being phased out for smaller boxes that, surprise surprise, cost more… for less.

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          • Thrifty’s was a Vancouver Island firm which was sold to Sobey’s. hence the changes. The smaller boxes are a reflection of smaller homes, smaller families, etc. It also works well in the price gouging dept. Expect to see more.

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    • Superstore delis sandwiches now go into the garbage.

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  11. My beef with Superstore is the practice of putting a sign on a display of product with a price in numbers that can be seen with the naked eye from the moon, and then in numbers you need a microscope to read a disclaimer to the effect that the price only applies if you buy in many multiples.

    The practice used to be illegal until the BC Liberals and Kevin Falcon gutted consumer and labor legislation to favor corporations under the guise of cutting red tape.

    There can only be one reason for the practice, and that is to mislead the consumer. Shame on Superstore. And shame on the BC Liberals.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Just in, confirmation from a manager at another Superstore that it was a chain decision to stop using the 50% discount on soon to expire or expired items.

    I will be speaking with their head office about this. Please do not get mad at the many wonderful employees who work here.It is not their fault.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I have not given Superstore / Westan family a dime since 1200 people died in Bangladesh
    Making their JOE line of clothes

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I was caught off guard recently with a Safeway in Langley. I usually buy potatoes 3-6 at a time, don’t want to waste buying a bag. Always paid by weight. Last time it was for “each” potato. 3 potatoes – $1.71. Really? No more Safeway. Used to enjoy a few pieces of that Bavarian meatloaf. Started off when I began buying it, I think about .79 per 100 gram. Watched it go up about .10 every once in awhile. The last time I was thinking of picking up a bit – $2.49. I bet that’s up about $1.00 in the last year alone. No more meatloaf. Talk about squeezing people. And yeah, packages are smaller, less in them, but prices rise. Honestly, I can’t believe the price of groceries even in the last year. People on fixed incomes, those who have a few kids, I honestly don’t know how they do it.
    Guess if we know enough people to get together with, like someone said, pool your money and go elsewhere for bulk buying.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. katharina heitzmann // December 6, 2014 12:18 am at 12:18 am // Reply

    I shop at shoppers drug store a lot. the prices are good and there sale prices are even better. on seniors day, seniors get 20percent off regular priced items and often they have deals like, if you buy 50 dollars worth you get a 10 dollar coupon for discount on your next shopping. they also have a great rewards program. last seniors day I got 20percent off my regular priced items and spent 100 dollars for wish I received two 10 dollar coupons. went shopping on Monday with my 20 dollar coupons – lovedit. their coupon deals are for everyone, but the 20percentoff regular items is for seniors only. also, their points rewards program is far better than superstore. would highly recommend it if you want to save a few dollars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Katharina, Shopper’s Drug Mart is now owned by Superstore. But they do have good pricing there and mostly since the takeover. I shop there for their sales as well. Good for you!

      Rumour has it we will be hearing more about the marriage between the two come January. One thing I think may be the use of our PC Cards at Shopper’s which would be good.

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  16. Are you sure shoppers is owned by superstore. I thought they were owned by a tobacco company.

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  17. There is another side to it… Margins are shrinking and companies have to make money to manage their largest business expense: employees, many of front line retail workers who may otherwise lose jobs.

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    • Nothing personal Jen, but *kaff*kaff* bullshit *kaff *kaff*.
      Whose margins are shrinking???

      Here’s a blub from Loblaws:
      http://www.tsinetwork.ca/daily/stock-investing/canadian-stocks-loblaw-line-higher-profits-dividends-shoppers-drug-mart-acquisition/
      In the quarter ended June 14, 2014, Loblaw’s sales rose 37.1%, to $10.3 billion from $7.52 billion a year earlier. Without Shoppers’ contribution, sales rose 2.4%. Before one-time items, earnings gained 17.2%, to $0.75 a share from $0.64.

      The addition of Shoppers Drug Mart should increase Loblaw’s earnings to $2.82 a share in 2014, and the stock trades at 18.8 times that estimate. Its 2015 earnings should reach $3.41 a share, and the stock trades at a more reasonable 15.6 times that forecast.
      Cost savings from the merger will also give Loblaw further room to raise its dividend.

      So, the way I read this is, these companies are still making “gross” profits, yet they keep NOT passing savings along to the consumer, in fact they keep raising prices and doubling their profits.
      They are also removing full-time jobs for part-time (no benefits, et al).
      Where is the consumer protection??

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pity I didn’t see your response to Jen earlier. Sadly we live in an ‘ultra-capitalistic’ society now where companies now have shareholders to take care of and unless they do everything they can to keep their shareholders pockets lined with cash then they aren’t doing their jobs.

        The major grocery companies in Canada are posting massive profits year after year and you nailed it, they aren’t passing the savings onto the consumer and there sadly is no such thing as a full-time job anymore.

        Now the consumers are getting doubly screwed as prices are going up or perhaps staying the same, but not the manufacturers are cutting down sizes so we are getting less and paying more.

        As someone on a fixed income, who also has a malabsorption problem (essentially short-bowel syndrome) and requiring a significant amount of protein daily this makes being able to eat properly is so costly and sadly I’m dealing with many health concerns due to not being able to afford to do so.

        I’d like to see some of these CEO’s or execs (politicians too) living off of what the poverty stricken folks have to live off of. Let them see first hand how bad it is.

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    • Jen, the real scrooge of real canadian stupid store lol

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  18. nonconfidencevote // December 6, 2014 8:12 am at 8:12 am // Reply

    Buying in bulk is a great idea.
    My parents used to do it back in the 70’s.
    Pool your money with several neighbours and buy a wheel of cheese and spend a Saturday cutting it up into equal amounts.
    Same went for meat. 4-6 families would pool together to buy a portion or whole cow or a pig and divvy up the butchered meat. ( the farmer would deliver the animal to a butcher and the families would pay the butcher, all cash, all cheaper than paying several middelmen and handlers to do it. Cash is king).
    They saved a lot of money and just went to the grocer for milk, eggs and fresh greens).
    Nothing like a freezer full of meat, cheese, frozen blueberries, strawberries, etc. to give you a sense of accomplishment.

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    • I do remember those days. People, if they have room might want to invest in a deep freeze. You can still find butchers and farmers who will sell a half a steer, etc.
      As a child my Mom canned a lot of veggies in the summer. Buying potatoes from a supermarket, not my idea of a good time. Get them from a farmer. Now storing in an apartment can be a problem, but you can store a lot of food stuff in rubbermaids on balconey’s. Freezers are definetly the way to go. You purchase in season and have the savings all year round. It also enables you to purchase items when they are “really on sale”.

      Grocery stores are not your friend. They are multinational corporations who are in the business to make as much money as possible.

      Ah, for the days of that Vancouver Sun column, Penny Wise.

      As an earlier commenter wrote, part of the problem is the b.c. lieberals changed some of the regulations/law. You voted for them, now you live with the results. This does not bode well for people on limited incomes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • put me out of my misery // December 10, 2014 5:13 am at 5:13 am // Reply

        Here, in the Southern Interior I used cooler with old towels on top of the produce to capture moisture and insulate when temps drop. I open and close the drain spout/or lid to control moisture and temp as well. When it gets too cold to drag the coolers inside on cold nights, I leave them in a cold hall, always monitoring for moisture to prevent mould.

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  19. I rarely shop at the Superstore, or any supermarket anymore…….for reasons shown in the above comments. We have a very good bulk food store here, and also a small butcher shop (the store is small, not the butcher ;-)) However, once the fruit and veggie stands close for the winter, I’m forced to buy my produce at the supermarkets.

    As mentioned above, packages have grown smaller while pricing has gone through the roof, and that is why I rarely buy packaged food anymore. Coffee and tea are a couple of exceptions as I’m very fussy about those two items. Butter, cheese, yogurt, bacon and Nova Scotia scallops are about the only things I specifically buy at Superstore. I bought a breadmaker years ago that still serves me well.

    I think that seniors shop differently than families because they eat differently……..smaller portions of everything. That’s why I feel I can splurge once in awhile on certain grocery items (like the scallops). And that is why bulk food stores are so popular with seniors. You can buy however much you need instead of buying a big package of something that’s going to be outdated before you can use it all.

    Anyway Laila, I’d like to wish you and your readers a very happy holiday season, despite our government and the big corporations Scrooge-like ways.

    Like

  20. Safeway just gave me a10 off 75 or more bill coupon .they still have half off like dairy yougert 2 weeks ago.coupon good for dec 5-11. Also they have 3 day weekend sales sometimes in their flyer.

    Like

  21. freegans
    at some point…..about a week before it is actually “bad”
    the sealed packages go into a clean plastic bag and….

    Like

  22. When my dog was still living, I used to raw feed him. I would buy a roll of hamburger at Save-On for $12.00. I was horrified when I happened to notice, that same roll of hamburger was over $23.00. I too have noticed, the much smaller packages at the same price. I was in disbelief when I was looking for a roast of beef, for company that was coming. $82.00 for a roast? An elderly lady said, her parents didn’t get that much for an entire cow. Needless to say, my company did’t have a roast beef dinner.

    Many countries have their food crops destroyed by climate change, by extreme weather patterns. I can’t believe with a global shortage of food? It strikes me how Christy Clark is so foolish as to flood, the most valuable farmland in Canada, for the site-c-dam to cause more pollution.

    It’s the rabid, sick greed of the wealthy robber barons, that turn my stomach. Canada has a high cost of living, in all of the America’s. Food costs are going up another 5% in 2015. Hydro is going to be jacked again as well.

    Like

    • Yes, $22. or so for a 5lb tray of REGULAR ground beef at Superstore. Outrageous! I am putting less meat in my soups and stews now. Using more vegetables. Mushrooms take the place of some meat in stew and it’s still healthy and filling.
      I buy lean ground beef for the BBQ when it’s on sale. Then I make trays of patties, freeze them and dump them into zip loc bags.

      Like

      • A small chest freezer is a huge asset to anyone who can find one reasonably.

        Other than that,adding beans, legumes etc to meals with other items to make a complete protein will do the job, albeit for some, with less satisfaction.

        Like

  23. I get one shop a month, so I try and make it count. I go on seniors day, make a list, read the flyers and it’s still not enough. I just looked at the flyer for this week, when I have no money and have already shopped, they have some really good deals. Sigh.

    Like

    • Just went meat shopping at my regular place… and wow… beef was double what it was a month and a half ago.I bet more people than admit it, are shopping on bargains and making big diet changes because of the cost. And sadly, in the portion of our population that can least afford to spare the dietary changes 😦

      Like

      • katharina heitzmann // January 16, 2015 1:38 am at 1:38 am // Reply

        maybe the increase in prices is the push a lot of people need to change to a healthier diet and less dependency on prepackaged food. if those seniors waiting ffor discounted salads at the deli were healthy enough to go shopping, they should be good for making their own salads from fresh veggies and fruits at a far cheaper cost and they would also have control as to what goes in the salad they eat. it is sad that so many people in todays society prefer not to make their own meals anymore. I am always amazed how much wonderful food – veggies and fruit I am able to purchase at so little cost and little effort it takes to make delicious healthy food for myself.

        Like

  24. first tuesday of month safeway has 10 percent off bill at till.

    Like

  25. Chickens are an easy inexpensive way to provide meat for yourself. We did 200 meat birds this summer which was split between 3 families. Cost of the birds plus the food ended up costing $1.26/lb for the cleaned ready for the freezer meat. We grew ours to 7 to 9 weeks as it took a couple of weeks to do the butchering as we did 50 at a time. The birds still weighed out between 6 and 8 pounds/bird. Another bonus is the great manure for growing healthy vegetables rather than having to eat the poison sold in most grocery stores. Grow your own food its good for the soul and the body.
    In Russia they give dachas to people for free for them to grow their own food. Theses dachas are small plots of land up to 2.75 acres. Why can’t that be done here?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Laila.

    I too have noticed this act of corporate scumbaggery. Everyone above has pretty much said it all for me, so I just want to make you aware of another grocery related item.

    When Sobeys bought up Safeway, the Competition Bureau said 4 properties in New West (3 Safeway and a Thrifty) was too many, and forced them to get rid of a Safeway and the Thrifty. People in NW were really pissed at losing the Thrifty, it was great, and we’d already lost our IGA. Pattison bought the two Sobeys properties and the IGA site, and put in Save-Ons. They closed the existing Save-On which is only two blocks from the Safeway that was converted into a Save-On. So, that makes it 3 Save-Ons & 2 Safeways in NW at the moment. Now I learn that Buy Low, a Pattison thing, will be moving into Westminster Mall, site of the existing Save-On they closed (Hope I’m not making this too confusing). This now gives Pattison 4 properties in NW, the same number the Bureau said was too many for Sobeys. And if you take the Save-On at Highgate (Kingway& Edmonds), a stones throw from NW, you could almost say 5.

    Competition Bureau my butt!!! What a scam!!!

    And we’re getting a Wal-Mart….stacked on top of the Save-On at Royal Center Mall.

    Oh, the joy………..

    Love what you do. Have a good one!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We live in REgina and just shopped at the Superstore today. We noticed 30% off pink stickers everywhere there used to be 50%. We asked the meat manager and the cashier and were told that in fact it is a chain wide decision that 30% will be the deepest discount the store will offer. The Meat Manager said people were switching stickers which is one reason they did it. The cashier’s comment was: guess they better get bigger garbage bins, because they’re going to need them”. They could have at least waited until the New Year when people are spending so much during the holiday season. I’m very disappointed with the Superstore.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. its no fun being a vegetarian?

    Like

  28. I tell you that it’s no fun, bein’ an illegal ve-gan.

    Like

    • 69 comments, and still 0 response from Loblaws despite being told by the PR department someone would be contacting me shortly.

      I suggest every customer impacted by this decision put into writing and contact store managers to pass your concerns and how this impacts you directly, to corporate head office.

      Please remember it is not the local employees decision, but a head office decision from the response I have heard from employees. I will continue to press for a response.

      Like

  29. Also changed pink stickers (30% discount instead of 50%) in Ontario, not just BC.

    Like

    • Yes – I’ve heard from readers right across Canada on this and the disappointment extends the entire chain. Rough for many at anytime of the year, more so now during the holidays.

      Like

      • I know the Loblaws near me still uses the 50% stickers. I no longer live by a Superstore so I cannot comment on if they have changed over to 30%, but it just seems odd that the Loblaws location(s) are still using the higher stickers. I know that they don’t put discount stickers on meats though. They put “Special today” on meat that is about to expire. Seems to be a 50% discount though at least on the meat I picked up this week.

        Perhaps given that the namesake stores are usually higher priced for the same items compared to Superstore/No Frills that is the reason they still have the higher discount.

        Like

        • Still 30% at our local Superstore. They’re downgrading the stuff in their bulk section. What they’re selling as “Pecan Halves” is actually “bits” or more truthfully, chopped pecans and their “pearl barley” is coarse pot barley. They have discontinued their long grain white rice in bulk, so you have to spend more on the packaged stuff. Regular ground beef has bounced another dollar for the big pack – now up to $23+.

          Like

  30. its obviously working for Galen Weston. Now its up to us, the consumers to ensure it doesn’t work for Galen anymore. He and his have enough hundreds of millions.

    Like

  31. Noticed it this week in Richmond, BC. I like cruising the store for deals, I don’t do my main shopping there, but I do get most bread at 50% off there, and whatever else I find that looks good. I find it has life left it in enough to justify getting it — if I don’t eat it all so be it. But at 30% off, that is no longer appealing. I’ll buy on sale instead. Safeway did something similar as well… a while ago they got rid of 50% stickers but they brought them back after a few months. They do not use them nearly as often, however. This has just made a lot of people’s shopping TWICE as expensive.

    Like

  32. Something else I wanted to add:this week almost all the yogurts expired in the next 2 days. They had no discounts on them at all. These were the cup yogurts that you may take for lunches (16 or 18 packs?) who wants that many of those when they expire in two days? Less shocking, PC brand had an expiration date much later this month.

    Like

  33. katharina heitzmann // December 11, 2014 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm // Reply

    hi Laila,
    I stopped eating meat years ago. perhaps you and your readers could educate yourselves on the benefits of eating a meatless diet. much better for your health and far better for the planet, plus for those on a fixed income will save you a lot of money. during the spring, summer and fall, in bc we are so blessed with an abundance of fruit and vegetables. if you buy the fruit and veggies from farms or from a local food and veggie market, I am always amazed at how much wonderful food we are able to buy for very little money. we are so fortunate to live in bc. maybe consumers could change their eating habits and buy less packaged food and less meat, not only will they save money, it will improve their health and dependence on superstore. frankly, I find it quite annoying that so many folks complain about the price of food at superstore when there is a healthier, less expensive way. when I looked at the food in other peoples shopping carts when I am at the cashier lineup, I am so often appalled at all the junk being bought to feed their families. try cooking healthy dinners for your families.

    Like

    • I agree some people spend a lot of money on junk. I see it as well in the lineups. And I agree we are blessed to have incredible local farmers to shop at… sadly many are unable to access that local product in local big box stores, nor can they easily access farm markets. In some urban areas in the US,market trucks actually go to areas where there is no access to local grown food and offer that.

      The choice to eat meat or not may indeed become a budget matter rather than a preference. However that is a personal choice for every consumer and a separate debate healthwise. 🙂

      Like

      • katharina heitzmann // January 16, 2015 2:12 am at 2:12 am // Reply

        in the lower mainland their are companies that will deliverlocal fruits and vegetable to your homes at prices comparable if not cheaper than prices at big box stores. whatever happened to home canning of fruits and vegetables, make your own jams and pickles, spaghetti sauce so easy and cheap to make, freezing fruit and vegetables., eating local veggies that are in season. it takes effort and mind change to eating healthier but is sure worth it. over the years we have become overly dependent on prepackaged food and taken in by the advertisements of these foods.

        Laila, I am disappointed that you are more concerned about the cost of unhealthy foods in supermarkets going up, rather than encouraging readers to eat smart and healthy.

        cows cause the death of thousands of people every year. any doctor will tell a patient with heart problem to stop eating meat, especially beef if they want to live. those who listen, usually continue living a healthy life. unfortunately, there are those who refuse to change their old ways. I have known wonderful, intelligent human beings whowould not accept the truth and change their diets and sad to say are nolonger here. education is so important.

        Like

        • Katharina, I have always encouraged readers to buy local and fresh, in fact I am a very big advocate online of this, often tweeting the amazing bounty available at low cost here in summer.

          You are making an assumption that people are purchasing unhealthy foods,when in fact it’s often not the case.The prices of all groceries are going up,and of many staples like flour, sugar,etc one uses to prepare and bake items.Not everyone has access to farm markets when in some areas, the big stores is the only option.

          Like

  34. Don’t forget another great opportunity to ‘annoy’ the Loblaw chain. Thanks to smart phone apps like Flipp & reebee, the shopper can price match at home, call it up at the cashier and they will honour it. Much easier than carrying pages of the competion’s ads.

    Like

    • Great tip for people who can do this! Thanks!

      Like

      • Just curious if Superstore locations elsewhere decline to price match from online flyers? The one I used to shop at stated it was company policy that you could only use a printed version of the flyers, which was a pain. I’ve recently started using Flipp after a Walmart employee and a customer behind me told me about it and I find it is such a time saver.

        I’ve also noticed that Walmart employees seem to know what you intend to price match each week, which is also helpful. I know stores would like prefer you pay their price, but I think Walmart’s easygoing approach helps their bottom line. Only reason I still shop at Loblaws stores is the PC Plus program.

        Like

  35. Just heard from a reader who informs me at her store, the expired or about to expire pink stickers have been further reduced to 25% off from 30 %, from the original 50% …. anything to make a profit.

    Like

    • Noticed in No-Frills yesterday that fruit cut up in plastic clam shells had the 50% stickers on them!

      Like

      • Oh really? That’s interesting…. hmmm. 🙂 Lets hope they factor how bad press factors into their profit margins…. 😉

        Like

        • The excuse I was given at Superstore for the 25% stickers was that they had run out of 30% and that it would be 30% at the cash register. Sure enough, I checked with the cashier and it came off as 30%. Don’t know if I believe the sticker story, but at least I got 30% off.

          Like

  36. Hey..we noticed also about 3 months ago superstore phased out 50% off deals in calgary..my mom told me about it first and i didnt believe it so when i did go i noticed it.she was right.and i asked customer service and nobody seemed to know why..i used to get alot of stuff like bakery items and dairy products.my mom was really disapointed and so was i..i go to safeway now in morning.they have 50% off in bakery 🙂
    Also apparently my dad discovered at in strathcona..small town 45mins away from calgary has a superstore that still does 50% off.my dad has a mechanic shop and some land there so o his way home he stops by superstore..

    Like

  37. I see this post is a little old but I’m in Ottawa, Ontario, and I’ve heard of some places starting to do this just recently. I figured I’d share my thoughts. It hasn’t happened in my store yet! Thank goodness. In Ottawa there are several large universities, so while Canada’s Capital is still full of mainly government workers who can afford it, a huge amount of the population are students from all over Canada. I happen to be in a program that doesn’t take up too much time outside of class so I can maintain a job during the school year, but many of my friends are engineers. STEM major students can rarely work during the school year and rely solely on their income from the four months of summer and students loans if they have them.

    As a student I know that I almost only get the 50% items (as I’ve tried not to rely on students loans, so I don’t have much cash after my tuition fees are taken out), and at the checkout I see a lot of young people in the same situation. If they took away the 50% off sticker in my store it would be devastating, and I’d have to go somewhere further away. Now add that to the fact that bus ticket prices have gone up to almost $4 one way… if I can’t bike there, I can’t really afford to go. This whole town seems to only cater to the government workers.

    Like

  38. Superstore’s new loyalty card is one of the best points cards in Canada, And it rewards customers the more they use it. The more you use it the more Superstore rewards you. For instance one offer was buying a frozen pizza for 5 dollars and getting 4500 points. That’s $4.50 cents in dollars value so the pizza is free basically. They offer 25000 points when you spend 250 dollars. I don’t know any other store that offers that. That’s 25 dollars back in your wallet.You might find it upsetting that 50 percent has gone to 30 percent, but it still offers people a discount. Some stores don’t even have that. It is not only Superstore lowering the discounts, stores like IGA have done it and they implemented before Superstore. If you look at the sizes now of the cups in Starbucks they have significantly shrunk in size. Banks have increased fees. It may not necessarily be a discount sticker but trust me every company is doing it and it is to remain competitive. I challenge you to do a store comparison shop. Buy the same items at Safeway, Save On and Superstore. You will see the significant dollar difference on your receipt.
    And please do not say Superstore is a Scrooge. Every Superstore donates to their community. helping many families in need each year. As well through their own children’s charity they have helped so many children with disabilities and their families. They help so many people.
    You may have seen the sticker decrease but there are many things Superstore does that should be applauded.

    Like

    • I’m sorry, Lisa, while I agree Superstore does have a good rewards program, it hardly makes up for the prices which in many cases, have more than doubled in the past couple of years. Also, if you watch the specials, you can often get better deals at the other two stores you mentioned. For instance, this weekend, I was able to pick up cases of Campbell soup for $6.99. I used to buy NN soup by the case, but then Superstore stopped offering it by the case because they can sell individual cans for more.
      Shoppers are scrambling to keep up with the price hikes/downsizing no matter where they shop. And it was Superstore who first cut their frozen vegetables from 1kg down to 750g.

      Like

  39. Just a heads up. Loblaws has started to phase out 50% stickers. Saw a bunch of 25% stickers (EVEN WORSE!!!).

    I hope people learned their lesson with the Superstore strategy. Please be as vocal as possible and let your local managers and head office know that this is unacceptable. Food prices have gone up drastically and this new reduction in close to expiring food is another slap in the face for low and middle income families.

    Like

  40. I was at superstore today and their prices on alot of things I buy had pretty much doubled!! Even the tresseme hairspray I always buy went from $3 something to $6.26!!!! I might as well go shop at safeway!

    Like

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Update:79 comments and zero response from Loblaws on about to expire product discount rollback at Real Canadian Superstores across Canada | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.
  2. 2015 ends with a bang… so it’s time for the Top ten posts of 2015, from LailaYuile.com | No Strings Attached : Laila Yuile on politics and life in B.C.

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