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.
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.