I owned Loblaws (TSX: L) at one point earlier this year but sold the entire position at a small loss last spring. I had no idea that the troubles at Canada’s largest grocer would worsen and sold simply to increase our exposure to bonds, which was far less than target.

Earlier this year, it was easy to see that Loblaws was in trouble because of empty shelves and high-priced wilted produce. At a store near our home, they even regularly ran out of staples like brown sugar. When I gently mentioned to the girl at the checkout counter that a grocery store should always have basic necessities, she replied that many customers have been saying the same thing and could I please let the store manager know. I did, but got the impression that the manager was annoyed by the complaint and didn’t once promise to look into the issue.

From my recent experience, it seems that Loblaws is a long way from fixing its problems. Yesterday, I dropped into a store near work around lunchtime. The bakery section carried bread that is three days old though I managed to find one loaf that was only one day old. Unfortunately I also purchased an item from the deli counter that had a “best before” date a full two weeks earlier!

Sadly, I will continue to shop at Loblaws because they are the only ones that carry the Jamaican-style ginger beer that I’m addicted to. But I am not at all surprised that the stock has fallen off a cliff and is currently at multi-year lows.

Do you shop at Loblaws? Do you see any evidence that they are starting to fix their problems?

This article has 93 comments

  1. Hi CC. I recently made a play on Loblaw’s, but not directly through their stock – I bought shares of First Capital Realty, the company that owns the real estate on which most of the Loblaw’s grocery stores are located. The way I look at it, supermarkets are necessary, independent of whether the economy is doing well or poorly. Even if the Loblaws in my neighbourhood closes down, I am certain that some other supermarket will probably move into that same space.

    First Capital Realty’s bread & butter properties are the Loblaw’s anchored shopping centres. But they have been diversifying by acquiring a number of Shoppers Drug Mart anchored shopping centres as well. Either way, I figure that even if we head into a recession, people will still get hungry and will still get sick, so those are relatively good recession-proof industries.

    With all that being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Loblaws in my neighbourhood, except for the fact that it isn’t very big. Since it has a rather small footprint, there isn’t very much selection and it’s a bit pricey but I think that is because I live in a wealthy neighbourhood – their only direct competitor is a Bruno’s which is even more expensive than Loblaws, so they look cheap in relative terms. On my way home from work, I pass right by a No Frills (which is another Loblaw brand), so I can pick up all of the staples there at a much lower price. Then I get the deli or specialty stuff at either the Bruno’s or Loblaw’s in my neighbourhood.

  2. I’m guessing that they are still having problems and not just at the regular Loblaw’s . The Superstores I have been into, have lots of clothes, furniture and President’s Choice frozen dinners but almost always are running low on orange juice, milk and for some strange reason kitty litter.

    I do not know how many times I have gone to the Superstore to get groceries and then have to drop by the local Loeb’s to pick up the missing orange juice, milk and kitty litter. It is beginning to get to the point that we are skipping the shopping at the Superstore and just going to the Loeb’s.

    If a grocery store cannot consistingly have the staples in stock then they really shouldn’t be calling themselves a grocery store.

  3. I shop at Loblaw’s regularly here in Quebec City, and I haven’t seen that kind of problems at my store. Although they occasionally run out of some items that are on sale, that hasn’t been a big problem.

    I noticed about six months ago that the shelves were not fully stocked (although never empty), but that’s not the case anymore.

    I have two negative points about their stores, though. Half of the store is for non-grocery products, and I don’t see many shoppers in those sections. So I wonder how profitable these are.

    My second point is about the gas stations, which when they begun were offering a 4 cents per litre kick-back to buy products within the store, which was later brought down to 2 cents per litre without fanfare. That kind of bait and switch is not something I like.


  4. Hi CC, you are talking about the Ottawa ones I imagine. When I was there, the one on baseline/merivale was particularly bad. Here in Waterloo, we have zehrs which is part of Loblaws. The stores here are extremely well maintained and merchandise is always excellent, however I don’t shop there because there is food basics, and the prices there are substantially lower.

    I’m sure they are going to pull through. I suspect the problem lies in them trying to increase growth/revenue and trying other avenues to sell non-food merchandise (and trying to compete with Walmart). They are concerned with the walmart expansion, but I suspect the walmart food concept won’t work here, at least not from the stores that I’ve seen.

  5. I ran by walmart and took down some of the staples groceries people would by and ran by Loblaws to do a comparison. Walmart’s prices are lower in every item that they offer where Loblaws also offer. So for single people who really don’t buy fresh meat and freshly baked French bread, there’s really no need to go to Loblaws.

    I’ve seen Loblaws run out of Broccoli several times and just give up buying Broccoli there all together.

  6. We have no Loblaws in Hamilton, but do have Fortino’s which is owned by Loblaws. No problems with stale food, running out of staples etc. If all the Loblaws stores were run like the Fortino’s stores here they would be in the black in no time!

  7. We have their “Real Canadian Superstores” out here. The general consensus is don’t buy meat there because they’ve been known to leave meat overnight on the shipping dock in warm weather. You also have to check all your items because quite often the stock boys are overzealous with the box cutter and cut into the bag/box of product itself. The final straw was seeing a 3 inch dead cockroach on the floor in the frozen food aisle. We now buy as much as possible at Walmart and then pay a premium for everything else at Safeway or Sobey’s with the occaision trip to Costco or a butcher out in the country.

  8. Canadian Capitalist

    Phil: That’s an interesting nugget about Loblaws real estate. Whatever their current state, they are located on some prime real estate.

    Stephen: How can a grocery store regularly run out of basics? That’s just an invitation for current customers to visit a rival store and soon enough stop going to Loblaws entirely. After all, most people just don’t have the time to visit two grocery stores the same day.

    Mike: Actually, it was the Loblaws at Baseline and Merivale that carried stale bread and hummus well past its “best before” date. I don’t usually shop there and now I know to avoid it entirely.

    And I’m not sure if I can generalize my experience with buying clothes but out of two shirts I once picked up for the boys from the Loblaws clothing line, the seams came off one of the shirts the very first time they were washed. I didn’t have the receipt with me or I would have returned it back.

  9. Canadian Capitalist

    In Loblaws favour though, despite all their troubles their stores are still crowded. Even the store I dropped into yesterday had a fair amount of traffic for a weekday afternoon.

  10. I agree about some of the stocking issues at Superstore (I’m in Edmonton). They quite often run out of 1% milk (I asked why they don’t change the order ratios of skim/1%/2% and the manager said it was the vendor who set the ratios – seems like that’s something the customer should do!). They are often out of food like soy sauce, tomatoes, ground beef (in Alberta!!! though this seems to be a problem at other stores). I still shop there as they’re the cheapest and fairly convenient. I refuse to shop at Wal Mart (lowest price guaranteed, but at what cost?).

  11. My personal opinion…..

    Their logistics are nothing short of brutal meaning they can’t get the right goods, keep them in stock so people can buy them but not overloaded and tying up cash, and then keep produce fresh at the same time.

    Walmart has no equal in the logistic department and that is why their prices are low and stuff never seems to be out of stock. Costco often (but not always or on everything) has great prices if you don’t mind buying large quantities .

    Loblaws is finding itself between the high margin Whole Foods of the grocery world and the low price WalMart. No matter where they want to sit in that spectrum, fresh food that is in stock has to be part of the equation.

    Loblaws stores may be full but a full store doesn’t help if the margins are declining faster than the crowds are growing. Declining margins are a harder thing to fix than say a one-time charge for some isolated problem.

    Galen Weston seems to think that selling reusable grocery bags will bring shoppers in but I don’t see that working. They may have made money selling them for dollar but I haven’t seen anybody re-using them at the cash (given the energy to produce cloth bags, it may not have saved the world like he proposed – and I think anyone who truly cares about being green knows this).

    What is stupider is where he says that Presidents Choice has the number one frozen hamburger but you should NOT buy it… rather, you should buy their low-fat version because ‘everyone would be better off’.

    I am no grocery store tycoon but if you have the number one seller of anything, leave it alone and spend your advertising money telling customers to buy something from new from you.

    I suspect we are seeing the ugly side of nepotism. In any event, I say Galen Jr. should fire the advertising agency, stay off the tv and hire some smart people who are leaders in logistics and cost cutting.

    Declining margins are tougher to fix than many problems and this could take a few years. On the other hand, the food/grocery business will be remain part of the economy and Loblaws is trading at a pretty deep discount to what it once was.

    Personally, I would want to know how much the real estate is conservatively worth on a per share basis so I have a good idea of a floor value. If suitable, then long term buy-and-hold investors may find it worth the wait.

  12. I love shopping at Loblaws. I regularly visit their Cedarbrae store in Scarborough, and I used to visit their Heartland store in Mississauga when I was working out that way. Gorgeous! There is a new “Loblaw Superstore” opening in the Spring at the Scarborough Town Centre (very close to my house) that I am eagerly anticipating. Apparently, the branding change from “Real Canadian Superstore” to “Loblaw Superstore” is going to bring some serious strategic changes to what they sell (i.e. a larger Joe Fresh clothing section, less furniture & electronics). Since their stock is so beaten up, now might be an excellent time to invest!

  13. I don’t know that I’ve noticed any issues at our local Loblaws, but I’ll make a point of taking a closer look now. I do agree with you 100% about the ginger beer though; that’s good stuff!


  14. In BC we have the Real Canadian Superstore, which is usually known as Stupidstore.

    My wife made the mistake of asking for help once from a store employee. The person had no idea where what she was asking for was, and turned to leave. She made a comment about stupid store, and the employee turned around and said ‘Yeah, we call it that too!’.

    Otherwise, no matter which Superstore we visit around here (there are 3 or 4 of them close by), they all consistently run out of staples. We have altered our shopping habits to make sure we visit in the morning, because the shelves are empty by the afternoon.

    We keep going back because they have the lowest prices around by far. This area doesn’t need improvement.

    I agree with the previous posters – these stores have no issue getting people in the door. However, their logistics issues have to be fixed, and soon. Otherwise these people are going to move permanently to Costco or Save-on-Foods.

    I have considered buying their stock previously, as i’m sure we’re responsible for a few cents of their yearly profit 🙂 But I always thought it was overpriced. Now that it has come down, i’m sure it was. But i’m still not convinced its at a bottom.

    I also agree, they’ve got to change their ad agency… those ads are horrible!

  15. The local superstore I visit recently spent a over a month renovating the store, and while there are some improvements, the store was in complete chaos for this period. The store was severly understaffed, and nobody seemed to care that it was impossible to find anything. They took cashiers off the till and had them all start moving shelves of product. They are still struggling to complete the renovation transitions.

    At the same time a local safeway completed their renovations in under 2 weeks, they had large temporary signs indicating products new locations and it appeared that they even had additional staff to help during this time.

  16. Out on the east cost they are called “Atlantic Superstore” and I do buy the majority of my groceries there as there are only 2 other alternatives.

    Sobeys is too expensive I find most everything costs more there and their Store brands are not as good as those sold at Superstore (no-name/Pres. Choice).

    Co-op here is good at times, their meat section is very good and I do prefer to buy my meat there over Superstore. Just don’t buy produce there it always seems to go bad so quickly. Also they aren’t good at rotating stock so you have to check dates on things before you buy things there. It’s also on the way home so I do go there to pickup a few items but generally not for a full order.

    Walmarts here don’t have the full Grocery section Supercentres yet but I have been to them in the US and they are impressive. Their prices seemed to be lower than grocery store regular prices but sales prices at the grocery store were always better.

    What annoys me is if I want to buy some milk at the Superstore, I have to walk in one end of the building and walk clear to the other end and back again. So it’s like a 15 minute trip to get milk if you but it there. And that is just to walk-in, pay for and walk out!

    If the Atlantic superstores were a seperate entity I would buy stock in them, as they represent a significant percentage of the market here with little real competition at least for me personally.

  17. Kristy, it’s Canadian Tire that has the nickname Stupid Store, at least that is how I’ve known it my entire life.

    We have the Real Canadian Superstore and its alright. It’s way better than Walmart…. our Walmarts are PACKED with MILLIONS of people and its hard to just shop as you have everyone and thier dog at Walmart… for that reason not very many people buy thier groceries from our Walmart in comparison with other grocery stores. You can barely walk down the isle… so its just too crowded at Walmart.

    I shop at every grocery store but Walmart. Prices aren’t that much better after factoring in massive line ups and absolutely zero room to move the cart.

  18. I remember reading what happened was that Loblaws moved their logistics/operations from out west to east (or maybe it was the other way around) and they lost a lot of managers in the move which explains why when I went last week half of the tea selection had a “please restock” sign on it. They lost their skilled managers who kept the place going.

    Loblaws is a classic case of a business not sticking to their knitting. They sold some great foods but I don’t understand them branding out into clothes, drugs, furniture etc. One day, the fall of Loblaws will be a MBA case study.

    I don’t understand Loblaws twisting itself into knots to fight Walmart- Walmart is such a sign of American imperalism that many Canadians will not shop there (Walmart can’t get a store into Vancouver because there is so much resistance to them) and the Walmarts in Toronto are primarily located in middle class neighborhoods while the Loblaws are in upper-middle class neighborhoods; different markets (at least locally). Its like Loblaws psyched itself out.

  19. Huh… This strikes a cord with me. My wife and I have similar issues with the Superstores here in Calgary that have the same issues with stocking. It’s to the point where I avoid going there in favour of Safeway.

    Others have mentioned Walmart but while their logistics may be very good they are NOT good at getting stuff out the door. The line-ups at the checkouts are insane (at least at the Walmarts out here.)

  20. Almost everyone I know shops at Zehr’s. I used to as well, until my MIL told me “that’s where rich people shop”. 🙂 So I switched to Food Basics as well.

    A few months ago I started car pooling, so now I shop at the A&P because that’s where we meet and park.

    I’m pretty much a convenience shopper which is why I just can’t bring myself to shop at the Super Store or even Walmart for that matter. Too often, stores get too big for their own good. I’ll pay $2 more for a bottle of shampoo at Shopper’s than have to deal with the chaos that is Walmart.

  21. Thickenmywallet hit the nail on the head — Loblaws is trying to fight too many battles at once. Even when I was a kid and had no concept of things like marketing, I insitinctively knew Loblaws was the “nice” grocery store of the two we’d go to. I became, and am still, a huge fan of their President’s Choice line of products. They had a good thing going.

    But I don’t understand this obsession with doing something other than groceries. They were the best grocery store in Canada, and then srewed it up by preparing for a needless “fight” on Wal-mart’s terms.

    Worse still, they decided that the best way to fight a discount department store threatening to be a grocer, was to become a grocer with a home furnishings division. Then start a spin-off to sell discount clothing.

    It’s a mess. To me, Loblaws is one of those classic stock where you look at the share price and say “oh my god! It’s $35! 5 years ago it was twice that! it must be on sale!”

    But really, I think the stock has more to fall. I don’t see the fuss for a once-dominant grocery store that has proven itself very fallible, with a microscopic dividend.

    Loblaws needs to figure out what it is, and get back to doing that. People have loyalty to the brand, so the stores will stay full if they can pull it off. I don’t see any signs of that happening, but I’d love to be wrong and buy the stock one day.

  22. My wife and I live in Halton Hills Ontario and we have the brand new Loblaw superstore in Milton. It is the first bagless store in Canada(you have to bring your own or buy their bins/bags). Its really big. The prices are pretty good, stock selection is good, we haven’t had any out of stock issues and the meat/bakery sections are quite good. As for the Stock…I think around $30 will be the bottem but I don’t expect a recovery for several years. Keep in mind Loblaw owns a lot of their own real estate as well and their dividend is very secure. The payout ratio is still fairly low for the dividend even amidst the restructuring and lower profits. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of this stock. If you have a long time horizon I would say its a good time to get in (I already have a small holding and will likely add to it in the next few months)

  23. FYI. I also bought units of Crombie REIT, which is the REIT that owns most of the real estate where the Sobey’s grocery stores are located. But the last time I checked, the Sobey family still holds most of the Crombie units and only a minority share is floated on the TSX.

    The Walmart stores are located mostly on properties owned by Primaris REIT, but the Primaris unit prices haven’t come down far enough to entice me to start buying. They would be my way of “hedging” my bet, as Walmart is the one competitor feared by all of the other grocery chains. My strategy is to buy the properties on which almost ALL of our supermarkets are located. It would kind of be like “buying the index”, as it were. But I don’t know if Metro Inc (who bought the A&P / Price Chopper, etc. brands) will be breaking off their real estate into a REIT or a corp like the others… If they do, you can bet that I’ll be watching them closely as well!

  24. Canadian Capitalist

    I agree with Corey about the line ups at the checkout counter at Wal-Mart. I try to avoid Wal-Mart for precisely that reason. It’s not just that there is a line up, the line moves very slowly. Compare that to Costco, which almost always has a line up as well but moves fast.

    Thicken, you’re right about Loblaws self-destructing. It’s not as if Wal-Mart has no surviving competition. Costco is doing just fine, thank you. And Best Buy didn’t panic and start selling shoes, sauce pans and toys when Wal-Mart announced they were selling electronics.

  25. I agree L should stick to groceries but I have to say that I bought a cheap bbq there this year ($100) and it is awesome!


  26. It always struck me as dumb for Loblaws to, as a strategy, decide to go head-to-head with W-Mart, and try to sell furniture and other non-grocery stuff like they do. You can’t out wal-mart a wal-mart for heavens sake, and if all you compete on is price, well, they can get heinz to sell them a can of beans for less than Loblaws can….. They would be smarter to revamp and position themselves as Whole Foods Canada. Take a different approach and go all fresh/organic and not try to compete on commodities. But oh well Galen who got his job because of his dad thinks that a canvass bag will ‘change everything’. Right.

  27. 2 comments:
    1.) I have a neighbour who took a part-time job there for some extra cash working as a cashier. The horror stories I hear about ineptitude around schedules, and pushing promos and acceptable behaviour is outrageous.

    2.) I do believe I laughed for the very first time here after the line: “Jamaican-style ginger beer that I’m addicted to.” 🙂

  28. Every summer I’ve been well impressed by the Charlottetown Atlantic Superstore (though it is a bit pricey, and we tend to try to pick our own veggies when we’re on the Island).

    Here in London, I haven’t noticed any problems in Loblaws or the RCSS in terms of keeping stock up and fresh (they’re not as good as the local A&P at keeping things fresh, but I haven’t noticed anything past its due date on the shelves). Loblaws is ridiculously expensive here for some reason, 25-50% more than A&P/Sobeys/RCSS on many things. I hardly ever see anyone off in the department store half of the RCSS.

    The biggest problems are the chronic long lineups (every time I go to the RCSS the lineup is 15 minutes or longer, even for the self-checkout; Loblaws is that bad maybe 50% of the time), but that might still indicate a management problem, especially when they have more people out in the deli, heat-and-eat, bakery, fish, and prepared salad counters than they do on cash.

    In Toronto however, I haven’t shopped there for years. The Bayview Village Loblaws had those exact same supply issues for years and my family just gave up on them. My mom shops at the Empress Walk one occasionally, and says its pretty good though, but again, pricey.

    I do find PC to be one of the best store brands around, and PC Financial has been fantastic. I don’t know why Loblaws isn’t doing better as a company…

  29. Wow, I’m an idiot in my prior comment about Canadian Tire.. that’s crappy tire… you’re right about stupid store Kristy.

    I can’t tell you how bad the Walmarts out here are (in Alberta)… so busy (cause there ain’t that many) and the ones in poorer neighborhoods are like zoo’s… I can’t stand it. There are so many people buying furniture, clothing, dvd’s, games, garden supplies, pet supplies and everything else, that I can’t be bothered to wait in a line up with my food… PLUS, I’ve said it before… THERE IS NO ROOM IN THE ISLES for all the people, shopping carts, etc. It’s just TOO crowded. I’ll pay a bit more for quality and convenience.

    As for Loblaws… them having empty shelves makes it rediculous to go there. There are two Real Canadian Superstores in my area… one is rather quiet and large… I like going there. The other Real Canadian Superstore is so darn busy its almost as bad as walmart.

  30. Here in Winnipeg, Canadian Tire’s nickname is Ukrainian Tire.
    Also, Walmart’s lines aren’t too bad, RCSS’ are way worse, plus we’re also now in the season where RCSS starts raising prices on everything.. My wife’s cereal will go up $1 and stay the same everywhere else.

    RCSS here also seems to attract the rudest customers. (The kind who park their cart in the middle of a busy aisle.)

  31. Walmart is evil. That’s why I don’t shop there. The Weston family does much more for their community. (For Weston’s it just happens to be Canada as well) then the Walton’s. I have had headaches at Loblaws but I will stick with them. The same goes for Sobey’s.

    Shop with a soul.

  32. That too depends on where you live. Here, the least charitable company is L/RCSS while Walmart supports about 3 local charities per store. Safeway (my prefered grocer despite the prices) supports the local food banks and Christmas hamper charities plus a unique charity per store. (I also shop at Rona instead of HD because they’re very active locally and nationally)

    Playing the devli’s advocate, there’s also the argument the Walmart’s tactics do good because it drives down the cost of basics which helps everyone, especially the poorest members of society. No company is pure good or pure bad.

    Good works 2000+ km away doesn’t make up for dirty, unstocked stores with bad service.

  33. Walmart does drive down the cost of basics which helps everyone. Particularly those whose jobs have been offshored to china in an effort to get those prices down. Not so much an issue in Canada, but disastrous in many parts of the states. Walmart accounts for 10% of China’s GDP!!

    For a balanced read, check out the book The Walmart Effect by Charles Fishman

  34. Leading Edge Boomer

    I am in the east end of Ottawa. Still not impressed with Loblaws or it,s Canadian superstore. My favourite supermarket is Price Choppers in Orleans. Good variety of product in most categories and overall, the best prices around. The Walmart on Innes road is expanding in size and will compete with the other supermarkets. It will have a bakery, deli, and fresh meat and produce departments. It should be open soon , but I expect I will stick with Price Choppers as my main grocery store.
    Amazing how many people say Walmart is “evil’ . Yet, so many people shop there and keep Walmart a very profitable business.

  35. I bought shares in Loblaw’s when their troubles began at around $57.00. I had read about stocks that were going to carry you through all types of economies, whether the times were good or bad people would always have to buy groceries right? Superstore would therefore seem even more attractive. The stocks eventually dropped to $47, but I hung on, I even bought a few more on the way down. Things were not getting any better. When Sobey’s went private and Loblaw shares shot up in “sympathy / hope” to about $51.00 I bailed. I guess I’m glad I did because they are now in the 30’s. My wife used to shop at Superstore but the line ups here in Alberta are atrocious. There is no such thing as an express lane anymore. Half the registers are closed. They do not seem to have anything you want and their produce is terrible. We stopped going to Superstore and now go to Safeway. I still keep my eye on them however, I’m sure they will come back but their forecast is another 2-5 years for improvements. I like the idea of owning stocks in a company where you can go in and keep an eye on things. One trip into a Superstore here tells you things are not good. There are other things to buy in that meantime.

  36. I have noticed two things. Prices have dropped at Zehrs which is part of loblaws and they are better stocked than they used to be.
    They have these handy green tags on the shelf now that tell the customer if the product is out of stock. Handy.

  37. I think the real sick puppy is Wal-mart. There is such an undercurent of hate towards that company that they [Wal-mart] must keep pumping out these pr commercials about how responsible or good they are. There is something wrong with them.

  38. Was in a Walmart grocery store and was not impressed. They were out of so many things that I just walked out and went to Sobeys.

  39. Our fav name for Superstore is Stuporstore – and in the hot economy of Alberta you need to shop on a week day or early in the morning because of stocking issues. And we call is Crappy Tire too. Must be a canuck thing or something.

  40. My favourite name is Junk-Mart [for Walmart]. If you want crap from China, and you want to kill Canadian/American jobs, your Junk-Mart is the place to go.
    Junk-Mart, Always Low Prices, Always.

  41. They are building a Wal-Mart superstore across from Loblaws at Heartland Town centre, in Mississuaga.
    I hope Loblaws get their ducks in a row as I would rather shop at Loblaws heartland.
    I think Loblaws ran into trouble when they moved their distrubtion centre from Mississauga, to the east end of the GTA. They lost a bunch of experienced employees. They still have a smaller DC in Mississauga on Freemont street.
    There ads are to safe ” the hamburger add” the lack of the word “christmas” during the season et all. Then lop in clothing and furniture. trying to be all things to all people.
    That usually doesnt work. Oh and how long before Walmart begins shipping milk, eggs, bread, etc from China..using UPS overnight….Yikes that thought scares me! Loblwas needs to look at every area of the business from marketing to stocking shelves, pick it apart,build on what they are strong at the breakdown and rebuild what they are not so good at….right now that is distribution.

  42. Walmart sucks. They are dirty discusting boxes of crap.

  43. I work at a Dominion (owned by Loblaws) in St. John’s.here are some points I like to make.
    1. Our stores have the same problem with out of stocks,but
    not with basic items like milk/juice. Our problem is that it takes longer for us to get our trucks from T.O. or Halifax and between trucks we are not aloud to have alot of over stock
    in the back shop so we run out.
    2. Like it or not the non-food side of the store is not going anywhere. The Kid-Kloz/Joe Fresh line has a very high
    gross profit as high as 60%.Also the GM dept has a nice markup some items as much as40%.
    3.As far as Line-ups at the cash go.The next time you are in a line up with more than 3 people, go to customer service and as them ( Is your policy more than 3 in a line up you will open another cash?) because this is a company policy coast to coast.But in saying that we are having a hard time keeping cashiers. Maybe it has something to do with the 8 dollars per hour they are paying. All the best from Newfoundland.

  44. mongo carnivore

    In December you can find Santa everywhere except Walmart. They have Satan.

  45. Loblaws is still have logistics issues, Maybe they should move back to the Erin mills DC and hire as many as the old staff back as possible. However when the items are in stock, Loblaws is a plesant place to shop. One thing shocked me thou, I was looking at some of the frozen fish at Loblaws on the weekend …..guess what is was from China, I almost ***t myself. Come on Loblaws don’t do what
    Crap-mart does, you are better than that.
    If plastic bags are such an issue …Loblaws to should go back to paper bags that biodegrade.

  46. I know this is bit late for the topic, but was searching for another article I read earlier this evening and can’t find!
    Am a Loblaws shareholder too , do have the cheapest dispensing fee in their pharmacy at least.

    About a month ago, for couple of weekends they had Sat. only specials. Can’t remember what, bacon I think one week.
    Was in about 1pm, none, all gone. Don’t know if there was a limit, didn’t concern me – 2 would have been fine, but gather from courtesy counter, people were buying 12 at a time.
    If there was a limit no one was enforcing it, tho nothing to stop you going back and thru different cashier of course.
    Their stock apparently had been limited and all more reason to enforce limits.

    Was pretty ticked off! Don’t buy much else there except occasionally if a special is very good, as is closest supermarket. Great pharmacy people tho. Bank there as well, but never went in the store beyond the bank today. Maybe they should put it at the back! like some other necessities, then people would spend their way thru to the bank! Hope they don’t read that!
    N Lewis Bowmanville

  47. daphne bishop

    I would like to know what is going on with Dominion stores in Bay Roberts, NL.,lately I go to get specials and the day of the onset they are not there or the reason is truck is not in yet. I wait and sometimes they do not arrive until the next week ,I also find lately that the shlves are almost bare in some sections. I always like to shop at Dominion ,but if this keeps up I guess I will have to find somewhere that the shelves are always properly stocked .I have shopped at Dominion for a long while and I really feel sorry if I have to go elsewhere

  48. Eddie Godoresky

    I have a love-hate relationship with Loblaws and its spinoffs.
    Like – President’s Choice – quality generics
    Like – PC Financial – no charge banking
    Dislike – understaffed checkouts
    Despise- Having to go through furnishings and bedding to get to milk & bread
    If I have a choice, I shop at smaller grocers that don’t trap me in there for an hour.

    Back to investing. I keep looking at Loblaws bonds with 7.5% yields. They couldn’t really default on those could they?

  49. In Milton (Ont) our Superstore is extremely good. Clean, *usually* well stocked, although they were out of ketchup last week, which I thought was a tad weird. The produce is generally very good, and I have never once had a problem with any meat purchased there.

    I really don’t like the UGLY Joe Fresh clothing – it’s truly ugly. No idea who does their buying, but they have no taste or fashion sense whatsoever. Some of their home decor items are nice, but not all of it. I find the store very sterile looking also. All white with bits of brown and cream. Blech.

    An interesting point here is that the Food Basics also in Milton is NOT cheaper than super store – I’ve done very careful comparisons and find that you’re better off shopping at RCSS over FB. Better quality, best prices. The A&P in Milton is a joke. The only reason to ever shop at A&P is if you’re short on AirMiles. Their prices are ludicrous – fully 10% more (and sometimes a LOT more) expensive.

    I love the cloth shopping bags and green bins from RCSS. Not only are they extremely tough and long lasting, but they’re wonderful for a myriad of other uses. I would like to see them introduce different options in meat packaging (get rid of the styrofoam, go back to butcher paper) and produce packaging. For produce, perhaps resilient plastic tubs or mesh bags that could be washed and reused. In the absence of these things, maybe even mesh wash bags that you can pick up at the dollar store. I’d like to see people putting their apples and other loose fruit and veggies directly into the black shopping bags rather than grabbing the plastic bags provided for that use.

    I noticed a comment earlier about putting the new greenbin recycling into plastic bags – that isn’t what they suggest at all. They don’t allow plastic in those bins, and it’s very clearly stated on the info provided with the new bins. They suggest, rather, that biodegradable bags be purchased, or you can line your bins with newspaper or paper toweling.

    Sorry my 2¢ is long winded!

  50. I forgot to add that the Walmart here is in the process of expanding into the full/fresh grocery market. Considering the current food offerings and prices – they’re no better than RCSS unless they are having a special. They appear to be banking on the fact that they’re a one-stop shop, and people don’t check their prices. The staples (bread, milk, eggs, margarine) are often more expensive at Walmart than at RCSS. While I will still shop at Walmart in a pinch due to it’s location, for full grocery orders I’m still going the extra 2 minutes to the RCSS.

    It will be very interesting indeed to see what happens when they launch the full grocery store at Walmart. They will be very hard-pressed to entice me to shop there over RCSS, and I really don’t have any strong loyalties one way or the other.

    Like someone else mentioned above – no store is 100% good or 100% evil.

  51. I have to admit that my Zehrs store has really improved when it comes to having things I want. I find very few items missing on the shelves now. I like my Zehrs and I want to stay with it. The produce and meat are great.

  52. I think everyone should take a closer look – are employees happy working at Loblaws?

    Loblaws has been putting the screws to it’s employees for many years now by reducing benifits and in the near future lowering wages.

    There is three tiers to the wages. Senior staff are earning $20.89 per hour and new hires are hovering around $16.54 per hour.

    Loblaws wants to flatline the wages across the board so that the employee making 20.89 / hour will be lowered to 16.54 and working more hours in doing so.

    Currently Loblaws employees typically work a 37 hour week but the new contract bumps up the hours to 40 per week AND working on Sundays is mandatory. RCSS employees are already working under this new contract.

    I can tell you this that you more than likely that when you shop at Loblaws you will get a lot of attitude from the employees because they just do not care anymore, they are just waiting for there buy outs to leave.

    Loblaws thinks that if everyone leaves it will in the end be better and less expensive for them. However they fail to see that with the mass exodus, they are losing years of experience and loyalty which almost non existent today.

    Also those experienced ex Loblaws guys and gals are going to Sobeys! Thanks Loblaws!!

    Customer Service is what makes or breaks a company that is front and center with the customer every day. Take notice next time you’re in a store how many people are available to answer your questions and if you happen to be lucky to find someone, if they actually speak English!


    Oh and recently there was something written in the Globe & Mail about the company and why it was in such dire straits…it claimed that it was because employees were stealing. The reality is they’re in dire straights because they are offering their loyal employees 4 weeks for every year of service to leave the company capping the buyout at $75,000 or 3 weeks per year to convert to another banner such as RCSS Great Food Store but for less money and more hours. To convert to No Frills the offer was 2 weeks per year.

    Not a bad deal eh?

  53. Definitely not worth switching for in my opinion

  54. I just got done reading what Bob Black wrote. Here is a bit of it
    Loblaws has been putting the screws to it’s employees for many years now by reducing benifits and in the near future lowering wages.

    There is three tiers to the wages. Senior staff are earning $20.89 per hour and new hires are hovering around $16.54 per hour.

    Loblaws wants to flatline the wages across the board so that the employee making 20.89 / hour will be lowered to 16.54 and working more hours in doing so.

    Currently Loblaws employees typically work a 37 hour week but the new contract bumps up the hours to 40 per week AND working on Sundays is mandatory.

    May I suggest to you that few people care about the woes of the employee’s in companies. If they did then the worst employers like Walmart would have gone broke back in the 1980’s.
    Most Walmart rank and file make 9 or 10 dollars an hour.
    A department head makes 14 and change. Full time is considered over 27 hours a week. Benefits are weak and hours suck.
    I know people who work there [Walmart] and they don’t give a dam. They are not paid enough to care.

    In conclusion may I suggest that the reason Loblaws workers are going backwards is because people care about themselves and only themselves. They could not care less if Loblaws workers are happy or if Walmart workers are able to feed their families. It is the reality even though it is not right.

  55. I would imagine that Loblaw has the same problem that killed Eatons which was essentially a lack of interest at the very top and influential but incompetent rival factions below them ready to sabotage any hired outsider initiatives that were supposedly going to save the company.

    While shopping I have seen the most elementary marketing display mistakes remain in place for weeks at a time. How about a stack of bargain priced small televisions in cartons with a display sample TV sitting on top blocking them? How do you impulse buy something that you can’t even pick up and put in your shopping cart?

    If Loblaw sold unpopular breeds of dogs in store and displayed them in cardboard dog houses and sales were slow, their idea of merchandising would be to build mahogany dog houses for the dogs to get “better customer perception and enhance value”.

  56. I have read most of the comments on this page and find a lot of them to be quite ridiculous!!!

    I have and still do shop at all three companies (Loblaws,Wallmart and Sobey’s depending what I need). Sobey’s and Lablaws/Zehrs/… I will shop at for “FOOD” depending what is on sale and Walmart I go to for “Electronics and other c*ap”.

    I have also worked for both Loblaws and Sobey’s, while Wallmart, on the other hand… I walked out of the place before the person came to interview me after reading all of the propaganda posted in the back office. I guess they like employees with no brains and who will conform to their will and work as one. (kind of reminds me of the Borg from Star Trek!!) I also heard a lot of unpleasant things from previous employees who worked there.

    So now that I have established that I am not a “Fanboy” of either company and have seen first hand how the company’s work from the inside (With the exemption of Walmart…..the 5 minuets in the waiting room was too painful for a rational, objective, humanist “such as myself” who loves to have “Fun” and “Work -With” his fellow employees while keeping his individualality.)

    This is what “I” have to say…

    Every single company in the world has it’s faults.

    Every single company has its “good time’s” and bad.

    For all the different company’s and products that exist in the world, there is one thing that has been and always will be the same.


    The customer.

    We have the voice and the will to let these company’s know how we feel about their lack of service and miss-management.

    Stores always have and always will run out of product or have spoiled food, stores will close while new ones will open and company’s change ownership.

    B**ching to ourselves will accomplish nothing!

    Here are a few quick simple solutions that are idiot proof.

    Sick of spoiled or old food ?

    Tell the department manager about it, and while you are at it, ask him when they get their deliveries so you can buy fresh!!!

    Don’t like the clothes they carry?

    Don’t buy clothes from a grocery store!!!

    Tired of waiting in long lines at the cashier?

    Move to a smaller town!!! The population is not going to get smaller anytime soon!

    Tired of “Out of Stock” signs?

    Tough s**t “You can’t always get what you want…..but if you try real hard… you might get what you need”. Mick Jager

    And last but not least…

    Tired of low wages or pay cuts ?


  57. My apologies for the improper Mick Jager quote, here are the actual lyrics.

    “You can’t always get what you want
    And if you try sometime you find
    You get what you need”. Mick Jager

  58. True Confessions

    I am currently a Superstore employee, I know all too well how the store runs. Issues I have noticed as of to date are:

    1. Customer Service: Many employees are students still in school. These employees are just there for money. They do not care about the job, pleasing customers, and/or contributing to the work load of the departments in a team effort environment. It is only a job, that passes time on their way to their future career. These employees are more about socializing than actually contributing to their departments. These are ones that continually have to be babysat, told to do work on something , instead of taking initiative themselves. A real thorn in your side.

    2.Overworked Staff: These are part-time employees who have to pick up the slack for the first employees stated above. They are required to perform as a 3 person or more employee. So many expectations are placed on these responsible employees, that they get frustrated to the point where they show to customers that they are frustrated with their job. It is even hard to keep a smile when they are the ox pulling the wagon with all the other staff aboard. These are ones who have great work ethics and want to please the customers but on many occasions cannot offer such assistance because of picking up the slack for the other bad employees. These ones are MANAGEMENT MATERIAL! If you can, please stand back and take notice of this person amongst the rest within the department and please instead of making a negative remark to them, make a kind jesture, and you will see that this person just needed a positive thing like that to happen within their very busy day, to change their attitude toward customers. They usually receive so many negative attitudes or remarks from customers, along with the lack of team effort, that they usually quit. And yet, they were the department. They held the department together. Loblaws/Superstores need more mature workers who take pride in everything they do.

    3.Management: I have worked with serveral department managers and have wonder how some of them received their jobs! These stores have such a high turn over and I feel that it is due to the lack of professional managers. Many lack the skills, maturity, and professionalism needed to deal with workers when disciplining and/or just on a regular basis in the department. They put up with way too much from some employees, with no show/no calls for their shifts, and yet the excellent workers, who give a 110% get *hit on for minor issues. Alot of the problems stem from favortism, or the *ss kissers syndrome. You will get everywhere when you are an *sskisser. But if you are a loyal, trustworthy, hardworking employee, you will get nowhere. I have witnessed first hand the effects of favortism. I have seen employees with less years/some just months of experience with the company receive management and assistant management roles. They were not competant enough to be placed in these positions and yet because they knew someone high up, they received the job. Loblaws/Superstores are FAILING due to this main issue. I have seen managers with over 5 years experience unable to place proper inventory orders, supply orders, employee weekly scheduling problems, ability to make new signage for price changes etc. , struggle on a weekly basis. How can this be? They have been in their position over 5 years and yet don’t have their *hit together!! Know wonder the departments struggle, let alone the company! If the leader is incapable, then what are we to expect from the little workers!

    4. Full-Timers: These are few and far between, maybe one per department, and if your lucky you may have two. From my experience, once these employees go from part-time status to full-time status they feel they don’t need to work as hard. The union protects these employees, even if the manager finds that the employee is incapable, after several months of training, to competantly perform their duties. The union will still back up the employee and extend their probationary period. When is enough-enough!!These people are obstacles for the true employees who want an actual career with Loblaws! I know from experience these ones are slackers. Put it to the test, stand back and watch who is working in the department, once you notice , go up and ask to speak to the full-time person of the department. Chances are high that the person at the back during a rush period is the full-timer. That’s if they are even in the department at all, and not on a unscheduled (smoke) break, or socializing with other employees from another department, or upstairs placing orders for over an hour and a half?? Leaving the department to fend for itself. Just ask the other part-time employees if these ones are a great worker. They have nothing to lose, remembering that most are there for the summer holidays until school starts up again.

    5. Stocking issues: I totally agree! I can say again, it’s probably due to the manager of the department. On some occasions it is out of our hands and is the fault of the warehouse. Speaking with night crew, they feel that they need to hire more staff for night’s so that the store will be fully stocked for the next day. These people are definitely overworked!

    6. Store Managers: This person is the one who picks his favorite person for Manager and Assistant Manager roles within his store. First mistake! This should be taken care of by the District Manager, he/she is bias to all that occurs in the store and therefore will see all applicants as EQUAL. In turn, he/she will choose the right person for the position, instead of the usual of favortism, and/or *ss kissing. You may once in a bluemoon see the right person get the job. But that is few and far between. I feel Loblaws needs to fill upper management roles with WOMAN. There is hardly any woman in store management roles and even less in Assistant Store Manager , and Store Manager roles. What is up with that??

  59. The Reality of it...

    I have worked for Loblaws for over three years now in the warehouse and I am a frequent customer at their Zehrs store.

    I see everything that has gone on and I believe that the problem exists with management more than it does with the employees, yes the employees are idiot kids, but, it is the management that hires these employees and allows for their behavior to continue.

    I have never been much of a union person and I do believe they only add more to the problem by protecting people who deserve to be fired! And with that said the union can only protect them for so long, if management did their job properly these kids and other employees would be gone.

    Another VERY LARGE PROBLEM IS THE DRUG ABUSE AT WORK. I work in the Maplegrove warehouse and half the employees there are either drinking, smoking weed or snorting coke. They do it in the parking lot on break or smoke it in the washrooms, one employee was even dumb enough to smoke a joint on the floor in the warehouse. Did he get fired? Nooooo, he still has his job and the worst part of it all is he operates a counter balance reach truck that weighs over 1500 lbs with a full load on it!!! He never even lost his fork license, all that happened was a several day suspension.

    What kind of company allows for these things to happen?
    Especially when people can be severely injured or even killed.

    I use to be a trainer that trained all the new hires and have dropped the position because of changes made to the training program. New hires now have 2 days of training squeezed into 1 day which does not allow for the proper time needed for training on the machinery. Also, the company is hiring high school drop out morons. Several time I had told management certain individuals should not be hired they cannot due the work, or they had bad attitudes. Instead they are given the benefit of doubt and after three weeks the either quit or are fired. Talk about a waste of time and resources.

    Even management fights amongst themselves. I have held management positions for other companies and you couldn’t pay me enough to go into management for loblaws.

    Loblaws needs to stop worrying about “Walmart” and other compitition and start concerning themselves about their serious internal problems with management and employees.

    I firmly believe that 75% of their problems are internally caused by improper management and their lack of understanding what a quality employee really is.

    Why is it with all of theses company and warehouse closures I do not see people who want to work hard to provide for their family being hired? why is it all the high school drug addict drop outs?

  60. Fed Up In Central B.C

    As an employee of Superstore for 13 years I must say that ‘True Confessions’ has nailed it!I have experienced everything that was mentioned and more,it was like this person works at the same location!I am accepting a buyout the next ratification if I can and will never look back.Next time you are at Superstore and you see that employee with that miserable look on their face remember what you read here.

  61. Just wanted to let everyone that shops at Loblaw(s) ands complains, has no idea what they are talking about. First of all I will be the first to say that there are changes that need tobe made but I guess unless you worked there you wouldn’t know that that’s exactly what the company tries todo each and everyday. You people just see the odd empty shelf here and there, you don’t see are daily meeting we have everyday that included the head manager right down to the parttimer on their first day. You don’t see are sales charts you don’t see are “pick list” your thinking what’s a pick list….trust me if you knew you wouldn’t be complaining. Can I ask if you know what a direct is? I didn’t think you did,. A direct is a product that we don’t order, it comes in automaticly after it’s been sold but it may not come in on time, sometimes it takes awhile, that’s not us that’s alot of the time warehousing. now think about the size of the store you shop in and try to think how large the back room is, ask the manager if you want, then think of 50 -60 skids pile sometimes 12ft high and a 25ft trailer full of skids that you have to walk sideways to get through, not to mention are meat cooler, meat freezer our dairy cooler are frozen food freezer ( which is bigger then some peoples back yards) the bakery cooler. deli cooler, deli freezer and seafood cooler. So when you people complain that’s there hasen’t been a certain thing on the shelf for a couple of days and you find that noone that you talked to has done anything, it’s because we weren”t listening, we were thing how you would just go away so we can get back to work and make it better for you. We do are best, but we are not going to sweet over something your going to forget about complaining about before you even get home.

  62. I am a general merchandise supervisor in a small extra foods in a smaller town. I enjoy the job, most of the time. I love our products and you can’t beat the prices. I often work extra hours and do not get paid for them, (my choice) in that time I am basically cleaning up after staff that do not understand how things should look! Now I may have high standards , but I take pride in what I do. Most shoppers do not have any idea what goes on to put forth a good looking store that is a pleasure to shop at. Lately though, I have to agree with other comments made here, employees just do not care anymore, because we are so overwhelmed by the seemingly irresponsible distribution of product and lack of direction from head office to their specialists, then out to us. I still make sure the shelves are full to my capabilities, but cannot control the directs and the warehouse shortages. I agree with the idea of more women in head office and would like to see the big wigs come out to their stores and try to deal with the mess out here in the real world. I am out of scope-not in a union-and have had my bonus drastically cut, and the salary was never that good for the amount of responsibility I have and the stress it has all led to… I hear you though, if you don’t like it , get yourself another job, every job out there will have its pitfalls! You alone have the ability to make yourself happy! Choose wisely.

  63. I’ve worked for loblaws for 2 years. I am a hard worker, who just goes in, gets the job done, and wants to go home with a paycheck. I don’t care whose doing what, I just do my job. I have in the past worked for angry drunk employers in fast food, I have worked for lazy employers and the incompetent before.

    Here are the problems in the store I work at.

    1.Lack luster management: Most of the dept managers don’t actually do any work. They all just vanish when things get busy, meet upstairs sometimes for hours at a time leaving the lesser employees like myself to do everything. Including looking up inventory and trying to answer related questions to customers. They don’t pick up the phone when you page them if you need an answer. In my current department there is a useless manager, a hardworking assistant manager, 2 lazy full timers, 1 hard working full timer, me (a hardworking part timer/full timer in the summer), and 2 lazy part timers. That’s the order of sonority. I can honestly say that on any given busy day, me and the 2 others run the entire place. We have to pick up the slack from days of others ignoring little things like, FROZEN food inventory. Nobody does this until I get there. Me and the other 2 have to run the place like clock work to make up for the other losers who don’t do squat.Oh and store managers dont actually keep track of whose doing what work and who’s not working at all. They seem to get it mixed up.

    2.Double the workload and missing breaks:
    As far as management goes, the 3 of us that bust our asses, are run down and treated like dirt. But the managers and idiot store managers wear a smile as they do it so customers don’t notice.
    Yesterday I walked in at 10am for a 10-7 shift only to find out that the morning inventory hadn’t been touched by the 2 lazy part timers. I did all their morning work by 11am. Then I had to start on the fresh counter, specials, flex, and service counter until my 2 good counterparts arrived 2 hours later for their shifts. Suffice to say in that 9 hour shift I probably did around 12 hours of work. Any time there was a small hole in the counter the store managers their 7 hour coffee breaks who watch from above would run down to lecture me in an unprofessional, rude and sarcastic approach, they even threaten to fire me.

    3.Poor treatment of students: Loblaws is a great place for students to work? I can tell you, that is complete b.s. “Flexible scheduling”. Now maybe you are thinking, this guys one of those students who parties every weekend, asks for time off, ducks out of shifts etc etc. WRONG. I can honestly tell you that i work all day every day every weekend. I never see my friends any more and i barely have time to finish homework. In the 2 years ive worked there i have asked for time off 4 times. FOR COLLEGE EXAM STUDY TIME! All 4 times i gave them a MONTH notice. All 4 times i was denied it for the most insane reasons. “I never got your request sheet.” “Has to have been my favourite. I had it photocopied with a union reps confirmation signature and he lies right to my face.
    It’s like pulling teeth. But the 2 lazy part timers? They never close, or work late shifts. They get days of for parties and sports. When i started working there, for the 1st year i worked 28+ hours every weekend. All the management was nice to me. The split second i needed time off to study and since then, i have been treated like total dirt. They push me and im convinced they are trying to push me to quit now that i have backbone.

    4.Useless Union: There are 6 union people at my store. 5 dont defend me whatsoever during write-ups or anything. The 6th does, but that’s because she believes me, because she worked in my dept and was HORRIFIED with the managerial practices that were occurring. She transferred out but told me shed defend me against false accusations.

    5.HIGH PRICES: Loblaws prices are ridiculous they might not be the MOST expensive but they definitely are a close 2nd. How do they justify this? Presentation. Loblaws manager will practically whip you if the place doesn’t look immaculate every second of every day, even if you are busy doing something else. They claim to have the best quality foods, so they will cost more. I have family in produce and i can tell you thats complete b.s In my dept we get a lot of our stuff from japan okay? Enough said. I shop anywhere but loblaws stores, and i save up to 45$ a week on a grocery bill doing so. That’s 2 weeks gasoline.

    In short, im looking for another job now that im done school, and have told everybody i know not to support by either shopping at or working for a loblaws store. I hope they are bought out and replaced by a competent company.

  64. Employees Truth Pt2

    Oh and did i mention that management itself is at eachothers throats. The only time i see store managers on the flore is to argue with eachother about what goes where. Our store took 2 years to be designed but the architect shoudve been fired because the back room is 3 times too small to store inventory. In the meat cooler (the biggest storage place in the whole store), produce, dairy, cold and hot deli, bakery and seafood are all crammed in there.

    Speaking of crammed the warehouses need to be cleaned out of garbage practices and employees. There is NO REASON why meat dept skids should have a complete mix from top to bottom of their stuff with seafood, bakery, hot deli and cold deli. here is where management fighting shows up. The 4 managers get together and start arguing. They even flip eachother off and head back to their departments swearing at eachother. Nobody actually resolved anything, so myself and the others have to dissect the skids, SEPERATE the stock on 5 different trucks and HAND DELIVER IT to the other departments because they are having hissy fits and “arent speaking to eachother anymore.”

    Galon Weston needs to wake the hell up. Just because you are rich and have a rich company doesnt mean you are either smart or invincible. Loblaws will fall and be bought out, its only a matter of time.

    The big rival stores sobey and walmart are kicking *** because they have lower prices and better management who are actually management material. These managers hold bad workers accountable and reward good workers like myself with FAIR TREATMENT, and they follow senority policy. CRAZY THOUGHT! Fair treatment to hard workers? Wow! Thats so inconcevable!

    Do you know what loblaws chose to do instead to save money? In order to slow the bleeding they brought in a strict SHRINK initiative a few months ago. I have to admit its usefull during mon-thurs. But on busy days like fri-sun and holidays this process is USELESS.

    If you ever wonder why specials are empty or there are holes on walls here is why. Instead of letting us put out the whole box of melons or chicken, we have to put out exactly 6 of 20 in the box if thats what the shrink sticker says. And then we we put the other 12 in a tote and store it in the back. So the rush hits and hits and hits and we cant keep up with demand because every time we dont just put out all the food and let it be there to be bought! It takes 3 times the time to follow this procedure and every hour of every busy shift we fall more and more behind.

    I am one of the hard workers in the store. my dept has 2 others. And i feel for them because this is their living. I can at least escape. So to all the people who post the word “idiot kids” you are the idiots. There are some idiot kids. But most actually try their best and want to work hard, but when you have managers beating you down with extra slack to pick up, cursing at you in the back room, sending the slackers home early and then adding things to your to do list which the slackers should have, on top of 3 walls of food to cover and closing duties, your patience wears thin very very easily.

    I am actually snapping at customers on occasion. i appologize immediately and its only happened a couple of times. But it gets to you. The ox pulling the cart with the slackers on board is a good comparison.

    “Idiot kids” The only idiots i see are the people who are the bosses of those hard working “idiot kids”.

  65. I shop at the Superstore in St.John’s,Newfoundland-BlackMarsh Rd. This store has the worst wet produce case – the fresh produce always are wilted from lack of moisture. One long case of wilted vegies. Too cheap to spend the money on one of those misters you see in most produce area of other supermarkets.

  66. What effect will Metro have on loblaws now that they are in town?

  67. Hmmmm where to start? I seen and heard alot of stuff during my 16 years as an employee at a superstore to instances from the store manager having sex with two cashiers out in the stockroom to Managers having mental breakdown and going nuts. Every week in our department head meeting there was always consinding talk of “cherry pickers” which is a term for customers whom only go in the store and buy only the week specials and leave without buying anything else. This was wrong in my book and many times I felt like taping the chats during this meeting and playing them for the customers and I’m and willing to bet they store would be closed for there wont be any customers to serve. Now mind you there are some decent employees but they were few and far inbetween. The company tried and still are trying to buy out all the long term employess and in my region several took the package and other did not. For myself I was offered $24,ooo.00 in a lump sum payment (for my 16 yrs of service) IF I retired by there predetermined date. In which I did deline (DAM WIFE SAID NO!!) as I really wanted to trhow in the towel, hell I wanted to BURN the dam thing. The management do not care about the employee and the employee’s do not care about the customers. ALL that counts at the end of the week is that the profit margin was obtained PERIOD.

  68. True Confessions II

    Still working hard, however I am considering leaving this company all together. Been with the superstore over 4 years, and I still waiting to get either full-time, and/or a management position. Instead what do I see happen??? Well, where to begin…
    1. I apply for everything and never seem to get so much as an interview, strange, considering I always seem to get complimented by the store manager. I applied for an assistant houseware manager night job, finally got an interview after I had stopped the district manager in the hallway and asked how one could progress in this company? I told him I apply for everything and don’t even get so much as an interview. A few weeks later, I happen to get that ONE interview, so I couldn’t very well use that line anymore right?
    Well, I can say that the interview was not even for the sake of qualifying for the job position, it was only to ease my mind for the time being. I’m not stupid.
    I was told in the interview by the store manager that he was going to be interviewing outside sources from Walmart who had previous experience in houseware. I asked him as to what it was that he thought I wasn’t capable of doing in that job? As he fumble for words, he finally came out with “PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE”.
    I failed to have product knowledge. Excuse me a minute, but do you think a walmart person who has not even so much as worked a minute in the store, let alone the company, has more product knowledge of items they haven’t even seen, then I do, who has worked for the company over 4 years? WOW! I must really have idiot written on my forehead then!! So let me get this straight…
    This company is willing to overlook loyal employees of several years experience, and prefer to hire walmart people and hand them the manager/salary positions and happily train them on “PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE”. Instead of training their own valuable existing employees, who have spent many faithful years trying to establish a career with this company. WOW! I am catching on!! I’m getting it now! I’ve also been told by other managers of the same store that you don’t even require “PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE” on nightcrew. Who the hell are you selling products to when the store is closed? If anything you gain product knowledge on nights and therefore once you get on days, you are fully capable of helping customers.
    2. I was also told by the district manager that someone gets ahead by being the squeeky wheel. I quote, “The squeeky wheel gets the grease.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Again, loyalty, hard work ethic, giving 110%, means nothing!!NOTHING! But the squeekier you squeek, the more likely you will get somewhere. HOW SAD. I told him that I shouldn’t have to squeek everytime I do my job, I should be noticed for my hard work and loyalty to this company etc, “THAT” should be noticed and rewarded with more opportunity and/or advancement. but of course, that will and hasn’t been happening.
    3. Once your in a department, forget even trying to leave for another department. Why is that so much of a problem for the company? They have such an opportunity here to allow workers to learn more about the functionality of the store then they think. They doom themselves. If more employees learned more about alot of each department, Loblaws would be ahead of their competators by far. The turnover rate in each store would be much lower, employees would be more happy. If it didn’t work out in one department, why not try them out in another department? Maybe it wasn’t the fault of the employee, but rather the power tripping, angry, tempermental department manager they had to deal with. You never know.
    I also feel that it would be alot better to have competant assistant store managers if they had training in several departments, not just one department for 10-20 years. All they know is that one department. They don’t know what to expect from the other departments they become responsible for as the assistant. It would also be nice to see assistant store managers actually get involved in their departments that are suffering from lack of employees etc. I work in foods and have only ONCE seen an assistant store manager come in with his nice dress shirt and tie, grab a mop and bucket and mop the floors! I almost dropped to the floor. I even told him that I needed a camera to capture a picture of this moment. He asked why? I told him that I had never once seen an ASM come into the department and help out. He told me that he wasn’t like any other ASM. I told him I agreed. And so the story goes, he was for the workers, all the staff who were workers got along great with him, all the slackers hated him because he caught on to their laziness and made their days worst. He would keep on them, and that was great! What happened to him?? Well, of course he got fired, told to leave, and so the slackers win once again! There was so many slackers that complained that he ended up losing his job. I miss him as our ASM and Loblaws needed more ASM’s like him.
    Anyways, I’ll see how it goes, wish all of you the best over Xmas, and hopefully all of us hard workers will eventually win!! In one way or another job. Hang in there peeps!!We’ve worked hard to get our seniority should we just throw that many years of hard work out the door? What should one do then?? Bye for now.

  69. Latarsha Sandiego

    I love these comments!!! I worked for stupidstore for 18 years and can totally relate to all of you employees who work hard and have to babysit other employees who don’t seem to give a **it and management seems to reward this over hard working loyal employees. QUIT!!!! it feels so great. I walked out the door after one last morning with an abusive manager. After all these years, I’d had enough. Feel confident that you can do better-research your next company, go back to school, do research on the internet-Do not stay where you are not happy-it eats away at your soul. It is not worth the price.

  70. More stories please!

  71. Is it just me or is there anyone else out there who resents having to PAY for a bag which advertises the store? I have always refused to buy yard waste bags which boldly advertise for the store. Even the fabric reusable bags. I refuse to pay 99 cents to carry a bag which advertises for the store. If a store wants me to carry it’s logo, I will be pleased to do so, but the bag must be complimentary.

    I wonder how much a newspaper ad the size of the logo on the bag would cost. And here stores have duped thousands of customers to do it for them and even have the customer pay for it! I actually purchased a bag for .89 at a large box store because they had discounts on anything purchased which fit into the bag. It was a nice bag but when I got home, I promptly took a black permanent marker, and covered the store name.

    If they are so concerned about the environment and costs, why are they printing on the bags? Is energy not being used to print the bags? Is the ink used good for the environment?

    If I am to pay for a bag, it has to be plain white and yard waste bags should be plain brown.

    I carry many reusable bags when I shop but none has the name of any store.

  72. In regards to Jo who made the above comment,

    You are an idiot for writing such a lame comment!!!!

    This page has nothing to do with your dislike for company advertisement and therefor makes your comment and you irrelevant, not to mention you contradict yourself about the ink being used as being harmful to the environment just after telling everyone you used ink to cover up the name of a store.

    [Ed: rest of the comment deleted. Please readers, this is a family blog. No expletives or name calling]

  73. I’ve read your comments and have agree that Loblaw’s Management is the problem.They continually award people who kiss -ass and are incompetent simply because they (management) get their ego stroked.High turn-overs and low wages?That’s what they want it keeps the store manager’s pocket lined with his bonuses because he’s managed to keep his wage costs down.Being a full-time I don’t agree with the fact someone says we slack off because the union covers are ass,we’re just tired from all the part-time no-shows,but hey can you really blame the kids today?When I was part-time the stores closed at 6pm Saturdays,were closed Sundays and the latest they were open was 8pm on Friday nights.What kind of effort do you want to give a part-time job that pays shit,treats you like shit and forces you to work insane hours.I ,even as a past fulltime am glad to be free of Loblaws.So kids read this stay in school, work in a mall clothing store and STAY AWAY from Loblaws and its subsiduary companies.THEY AREN’T WORTH THE EFFORT OF EVEN FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION FORM.(I’m sure you could apply that to Walmart as well or any large box chain stores)

  74. Loblaws using the enviroment as an excuse to charge for bags….how much of a profit centre will this become?

    Loblaws are more expensive than most other chains, the cost of the bags is buried in there product cost.

    I am starting to tire of Loblaws and there BS.

  75. I like the store becouse I enjoy food.There are nice treats there.I like the duck pates,the Orange one is not always there,also like the white truffle oil,the fish market and the asian noodles.I don’t get bothered by lapses in stock becouse of the bigger selection.I guess I am not as fussy about my staple foods as others,I don’t have any,I change my diet a lot becouse it suites me better and it’s healthier.I am not giving up shopping there becouse of my gourmet needs I can’t seem to satisfy at local stores.My cooking is not the same without white truffle oil.And Loblaws makes me smile becouse of the duck pate and yummy cheeses.Oh and the ice cream section is a little short of phennomenal.

  76. WooHoo! I’ve been with Stupid…um sorry… “Super”store for what’s going on 10 years now and for the longest time used to think i was the only one that noticed the moronic way management worked,nice to see i ‘m not alone by a long shot. In my time there i have seen just how far ass kissing and good connections can take you. I’m a nightshift worker and we have lost more good workers then i can count that were fed up with the way things work while far lesser employees have gone on to higher positions. (one such worker idiot employee bounced around every department in our store and at one point was on the verge on being fired if not for the union then as luck would have it he became good friends with our then manager offten going for coffee breaks together and such and boom…4 years later he is still an idiot that excels at drinking tim’s only now he’s our asstant store manager!) That is only one example. I’ve seen new employees get raises with in 2 weeks of starting while other wait years for doing the same work…senior workers hours being cut and given to new employees..the list goes on and on. Personally, the only reason i’m still there is because i’m at top rate for part time right now (10 years to get there!) but with min wage closing in on that, i find myself asking why should i have to put up with this crap anymore? my advice to any young person or anyone looking for a long term future with this company..RUN! Don’t let yourself get caught up and nailed to the wheel of coporate greed and stupidity try for something better…

  77. After being unable to buy at least 3 or 4 items on my grocery list EVERY FRIGGIN WEEK due to them being out of stock, I finally gave up shopping at Loblaws and switched to Metro. And I’m not talking about sale items or strange items. My local Loblaw store was sold out of unsalted butter on one occasion, bacon on another occasion and once they were sold out of diet cola. Not just PC Diet Cola, but ALL DIET COLA! No PC Diet Cola, no Diet Coke and no Diet Pepsi!!! I’ve been shopping at Metro for 2 months now, and they’ve only been sold out of one of my grocery list items on one occasion. If that “born with a silver spoon in his mouth” genius Galen Weston Junior wants to turn his company around, it seems that the simplest way would be to put products on the shelves for customers to buy!

  78. superstore is TOXIC

    I have been with Superstore for 6 years now…
    Employee’s TRUTH…you have taken the words right out of my mouth!!! It is actually insane how similar our experiences are! When you said “The split second i needed time off to study and since then, i have been treated like total dirt. They push me and im convinced they are trying to push me to quit now that i have backbone.” That is exactly what is happening to me right now! I’m so glad I’m graduating this May…I’ve already applied to 8 jobs…so hopefully I’ll get one as soon as possible!…I look forward to the day that I get to give me two weeks notice! 🙂

  79. I can’t stand Loblaws…. In my area we have Superstore and Zehrs. They are by far the worst (besides Walmart) I stopped shopping at Zehrs because they’re expensive and the service sucks! I’m tired of always having expired milk or Milk that isn’t expired but gone bad and the Meat at Zehrs and Superstore is the pits! I’ve been a employee with Zehrs for about 8 years now and can’t wait for the day I give my 2 weeks notice!!!

    I really hope Metro or Sobeys buys Loblaws chain of stores and drives them right into the ground. And one thing I hate is that we have to ask ALL customers if they have a PC MasterCard or Debit Card. Then we have to circle the reciept telling them How many points they’ve could’ve earned with a PC MasterCard or Debit card. The customers don’t care and they get mad when we tell them. Loblaws should not make this policy and should take the message on the receipt off that says “You could’ve earned __ PC Points with President’s Choice Financial MasterCard…..etc. And only print the message for PC Customers PC Points balance. The Non-PC Customers don’t care and if they did they’d pick up a brochure. Don’t ask us. Go to the PC Pavillion talk to them!

    And the IPM’s suck too…. Keeping track of the ringtimes is also a waste of time too!

  80. I’ve never had a problem with freshness at Loblaws, and always a nice store and people…BUT the prices are just crazy in some ares. I completely avoid the meats like chicken etc., as they are usually double that of no frills or walmart.

    Now I know the difference in “stores” but I’m talking serious price differences. Often 100% more.

    Eight chicken thighs at Walmart (ongoing price not special) $5.

    Nine chicken thighs at my local Loblaws $10.51!

    And they were very comparable in weight.

    I laughed the other day when I bought some margartia mix (prices about same in all stores)…I walked by the meat counter to check out the shocking prices…if just to laugh at the sheer “balls” to charge that, and ran into a women saying the same thing under her breath.

    We both walked away.

    Chicken is the cheapest meat in the world, and should never be that expensive.

  81. OK, I understand your frustrations with the whole ordeal, but in reality who reading this really cares? I’m one of those mindless teenagers that only work at our Superstore for the money. True Confessions, go screw yourself, I happen to love my job as a cashier. Everyone in the store I work at is nice, polite, and very interested in listening to the customer(s). There are the occasional customers who are rude, ignorant, and just plain jacka**es but there are those people everywhere. As for being over worked, I get one to maybe five shifts a week, they are VERY accommodating to the time I need off for my community involvements. (I’m a volunteer firefighter as well as a member of our local Search & Rescue). one thing I don’t understand is how you people just go off at the younger staff, just because we’re in school DOESN’T mean we don’t know what we’re doing, I work very hard to ensure that I give my customers that come through my lane the best service I can, I often get compliments on my bubbly personality and how nice I am, as do most of the TEENAGERS I work with.

    Being a smaller store in a rural area, we often times are the test store for some of the newer things they want to try and put in effect in the bigger stores, we RARELY run out of necessities, we do, however, sometimes run out of items we have on sale, but what store doesn’t? Our store is always well kept and clean. We take pride in the appearance of our store.

    Loblaws as a company is the BIGGEST food supplier in Canada, the helped reduce the plastic bag usage by 70%, and support a Children’s charity. In all honesty have any other large corporations done anything that impressive? We allow local groups fund raise within our stores, and also try and support the local food bank. You can hate Loblaws as much as you want, it’s your opinion.

    Our management works really hard to ensure that certain customers that are whiny, ignorant, and self absorbed have a good place to shop. Don’t yell at the cashiers for prices, or for us not having hand baskets, or for needing to wait in line. If you don’t like lines shop on Sunday or Monday evenings, often those nights are slow. All of the non employees on here ranting and raving about stupid stuff should really try and put yourself in our shoes, we need to remain fast, efficient, polite, understanding, and chatty. All the while ensuring we pack your groceries, keep a steady pace, and be polite even to the most rude people. Do you people actually talk to our management if you have issues? Or do you just rant to people on the internet?

    This is just my opinion and has nothing to do with Loblaws its self. But I love my job, and I will shop at Loblaws long after I stop working there to move on to university. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  82. As single person, first condo purchase etc., I show for food almost exclusively at walmart supercentres or no frills.

    I have a loblaws nearby, but was astounding at the meat prices. They were twice the price!

    Someone said it was better, so I tried it. I cooked a pack of 8 chicken thighs from walmart (cost $5), and then tried a pack of chicken thighs from loblaws…9 of them for $10.51!!!

    Sorry found not taste difference.

    I understand that loblaws is usually higher quality, but twice the price? I don’t think so!

  83. Honestly, anyone that shops at Loblaw’s has money to burn or has not taken the time to compare cost and quality of products between retailers. Sobey’s, Metro and there various tier stores offer quality at lower prices and with wide selection of products. As has been previously mentioned all produce that you will find in all retail stores come from the same distribution center. As for manufactured food products for the most part are all the same products with a different label slapped on it like PC, compliments, etc…

    Here is another point of interest. Loblaw’s owns in excess of 60% of the retail food market in Canada. Loblaw’s also owns over 50% of the bread market in Canada of which is sold in all Loblaw’s outlets (Weston’s Bakery). Bread is a staple in Canada like milk and is generally in every household and generates hundreds of millions of dollars in internal sales for Loblaw’s annually. As a company it treats it vender’s (those who supply Loblaw’s with product to sell to consumers) disgracefully and without ethics. Then Loblaw’s insults the Canadian consumer by charging the highest possible prices for 90% percent of the product they sell in Loblaw’s retail outlets which are identical to products available at other retailers Wal-Mart, Metro, Sobey’s etc…

    Loblaw’s also forces venders to pay a mafia like protection fee which no other retailer in Canada would have the audacity to impose. They call this fee the C.O.G.S. it is a fee that is on top of the cost of manufacturing and agreed upon margins it is simply a service cost to be allowed to have exposure to 60% of the retail market share in Canada. This smacks of a monopoly and is highly uncompetitive practice.

    The worst part is that the Canadian consumer never sees the benefit of the cost gauging that Loblaw’s undertakes on its venders, nor can the average consumer get information or see how the Canadian food chain is being manipulated to make Loblaw’s richer and food more unaffordable for some Canadians that can barely afford food to get by. It is simply pocketed.

    Buying products from Loblaw’s stores encourages overall higher food prices in Canada. Send a message to Loblaw’s that you know that they are creating a monopoly in Canada and will not accept it. I for one will not be contributing to the uncompetitive business practices of Loblaw’s.

  84. At one time Loblaws was thought to be the best of the rest – but not anymore. I can’t believe I still shop there – as they never never have all the items you would normally purchase on a Friday. What is it with this company?
    Have they got so immune to customer complaints they don’t care anymore.
    I shop at my local Canadian Superstore because it is the closest store and I must admit they do sell Neilsons Trutaste m,ilk which is the nicest tasting milk around these days.
    However I am willing to go further for a decent well stocked store irrespective if the price is higher – one can only take so much of the blarney that the store clerks feed you on a weekly basis – even they have to admit that there must be something better out there.
    Maybe Wal-mart can fix it?????

  85. Superstore_Sucks

    Canadian Superstor really sucks. They have worst stuff, if they have anything in stock at all. Take anything, potatoes, onions, straberrys, tomoattoes – all worst quality food. And hey if you think Superstore is bad, check out its sister company Extra Foods.

    I stopped shopping at these stores. They have poor quality stuff, and staff is never free to help anyone.

    Sobeys & Safeway has much better service. Can’t complain about Wal Mart either. They are getting much better.

  86. Let's be real...

    This issue is far above the level of the stores.
    The stores themselves provide excellent customer service and quality products. There is not a single Canadian grocery retailer than can even begin to compete with the quality and unique variety of private label products that Presidents Choice Offers. This creates loyalty in there customers in an otherwise “location Loyal” industry. What other grocery retailer in the country can draw customers in based on their private label brands like no name and PC? Not Metro, Walmart or Sobeys with their basic, blan, control label product.

    To anyone with any knowledge of retail operations it is clear that this is a supply chain issue that needs to be rectified. Loblaws has over the past years publicly invested in their supply chain both in elevated man power and system updates. These changes are moves in the right direction but take years to produce results.

    Retail businesses like Loblaws depend on proper supply chain processes. Loblaws appears to be placing investment dollars in the appropriate areas.

    In my opinion Loblaws customer service is superior to all other canadian retails, combine that with effective supply chain processes to keep shelves stocked they will be an unstoppable force comanding market share.

  87. Superstore_Sucks

    All issue are at the stores level and above. The stores don’t provide any customer service and quality products.

    Look at onions and potatoes. They stink. Even tomoatoes they are really bad, tasteless and watery…

    Sobeys has far better customer support and Complement product. Customers don’t care how they a company is managing their supply chain. Customers are interested in getting the best value for their $ and Extra Food and Super Store is NOT an answer.

    Superstore don’t even have or share a copoun policy. Any time I go with a copoun they say “We don’t have policy”, but we will not accept this copoun.

    To me you just seems to be on PC’s payroll.

  88. True Confessions

    So I no longer work for the SS…lol…but I do have to say that after all that I have commented on this website, don’t know who u are, but for some reason things at work seemed to have changed. First off, the district store manager took an early retirement, (we heard he was asked to leave), the store manager retired aswell, two positives, however then they replaced the district manager with a Walmart district manager??what the? Do u wanna be walmart? and I usually have great intuition when I meet someone, (years of being abused, u develop great instincts about people)…u can tell he is not an honest judial individual…I know I stated within my other comments that the district manager should be the one to hire the department managers, however, they all work in ass kissing each other still…the DM takes the opinion of the SM and then the DM just gives the SM what he wants…They finally came out with employee surveys, which means now every employee does get to have a say on the performance of the dept.manager, and store manager…finally cutos to u for that Loblaws…Hey like parents, u give compliments where compliments are due. I have no issue with praising when people and businesses do something positive…and don’t get me wrong when I state on here the issues at store level. U have actually taken all of my suggestions and implemented them…so I must have some abilities u like to inquire about.
    I have a great suggestion…why not hire me to go into each store as a mole. I know that sounds crazy but I feel the only way to get to the bottom of situations at store level is to plant someone within the store…once the information is collected and provided, u move me onto another store, and so forth. Nobody will know who I am. I will play the role of a p/t person, and I will move about the stores reporting my findings to whom it may concern; who are slackers, and who are keepers, what managers have skills/professionalism, and who do not possess these abilities…then u can filter them out and progress in ensuring that u’r company standards are in tip top shape…I will also inform u of who should be in manager roles, based on their abilities, skills, and personality… nobody would even know that I was a mole.
    The only reason employees complain is because there are injustices happening to them. Alot of these individuals love their job, however just like the famous saying…all it takes is one bad weed to spoil it for the others…these good employees become targets after complaining, so usually there is a fear of going to the union with situations, cause employees get labelled as troublemakers. These employees are not troublemakers, they are actually the ones who promote u’r policies and standards effectively. It is the other people who go against them that don’t want things to come out, and try to sweep matters under the carpet cause it is too much for them to deal with. I can even provide u with an incident…u had an HR personnel working for SS, now this person is moved into another position within Loblaws. This person made a horrible comment to a female who was pursuing a complaint against a male co-worker on harrassment…he also filed a complaint… and therefore a so-called investigation occurred…the HR person told this female that she was costing the company a large amount of money by having them investigate…can u believe that! what kind of person says that?? Especially an HR representative…and especially after implementing a so called “no tolerance” to harrassment policy. Long story short, this female is still having to work with this man, and tolerate all of his harrassment daily…but if she complains, she will be labelled a troublemaker, so she refuses to pursue it, scared of losing her job that feeds, and shelters her children! At the time of occurrence, she had been with the company for years, he just started working with the company… she had no history of complaining of harrassment etc…at the least, he should have been removed out of that dept. She had seniority over him to stay in the dept. She does not know I know about this..so don’t go looking to attack her for my writing this about her on this website…but as u can see, problems with personnel can occur way up the ladder, even u’r HR staff…who’s job it is to protect employees…not discourage them from coming forward with problems. I’m glad to see that person left the HR dept. But once again, if u inquire of these things, other staff that worked with this HR person will protect this individual, because HR is more highly respected over a measley P/T employee at store level. Your company is a company that is growing, and hopefully will continue to grow in a positive way…but when humans are prone to human error, we have to remember that not everyone is on board with the positive changes that Loblaws will want to make to stand out among their competitors (Walmart) etc…Build it, and people will come! Set u’r sights higher, and u will prevail!

  89. True Confessions

    Nikki, I am sorry that you took my comment as if I meant ALL students are lazy, etc…that is not at all what I meant…so I apologize…I have trained/worked with really great students with great work ethics, every individual chooses how they want to be…I had trained alot of people in my days at SS and I will tell you that you can hand learning tools to people, but they choose whether or not to implement them into their lives…I did notice though that you mentioned that you “worked in a smaller store in a rural area”, well, let me tell you that would make all the difference, as larger stores breed more negativity, from my experience…I grew up in a rural environment so I know people are much more personable and friendly in the country. People are more family oriented in smaller stores and tend to want to help each other…but not so in the big cities, it’s very dog eat dog.
    You also mentioned; “Loblaws as a company is the BIGGEST food supplier in Canada, the helped reduce the plastic bag usage by 70%”…do you know where the customers plastic bags go that people bring in and put into the recycle bins that Loblaws supplies? They go into the compactor. I had to throw out boxes, and boxes of unused plastic bags, not even opened, but when xmas ended, they shipped in new plastic bags and threw out the balance of the xmas ones to the garbage…I had to throw it out it was my job…I opened the boxes, dumped the bags, and recycled the boxes in the cardboard compactor, which a manager told me to just throw out, don’t even bother recycling the box… Do you know where, and how much food, like milk, eggs, bakery foods etc…from each department end up when they have expired, but are still good to eat? They end up in the compactor aswell…perfectly good eggs, I would take home and use up in a few days by just boiling them…wasted food that can be donated the day of to schools, food banks (which I know people would be happy to have 1 bag of a 4L bag of milk instead of powdered milk for their morning cereal that day.)I’ve been around the block you could say…I’ve seen it all…

  90. Thanks for sharing all your experiences.

    The impression I’m getting is the following:

    (1) New employees are poorly trained and/or monitored for progress. If this happens, you’re bound to get either slackers or high turnover. After all, what employee would want to work for a company that does not provide proper training and/or occasional pat on the back, or suggestions for improvement (i.e. performance review). Rather than chastise employees, ask them what they need to help them improve their efficiency. Of course, that’s not likely to happen in an environment such as this due to time constraints. That’s not an excuse, just an observation that needs a serious review.

    (2) Management – the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing. Seems to be a complete communication break-down between departments. Perhaps the store manager simply doesn’t have time to perform all of his/her expected duties within a given time frame? If that’s the case, I would think Loblaw should be hiring an assistant store manager(s) to help out.

    (3) Separation of duties – ok, it appears we have a very large problem here as well. Employees are expected to work multiple departments, while never fully mastering one. I believe that’s the case for Night Crew, as well as some other departments, or individuals. The Flow program is a nice idea on paper(theory), yet seems not well implemented thus far.

    These points can all be summarized by the following:

    In the interest of retaining, or increasing shareholder value, Loblaw is slicing and dicing staff at all levels, left/right and center.
    There is a major problem with this tactic. Hiring multiple ‘part-time’ staff is a recipe for high turnover, poorly trained, miserable staff. Resulting is decreased customer satisfaction, overworked employees: the few remaining – ‘full-timers’.
    What part-time employee is going to give a rat’s butt about his/her job, if they (a) don’t receive enough hours and/or (b) poorly trained, lack of feedback. There’s just not a lot of incentive.
    Treat them poorly enough, and they will leave. I would even recommend leaving, since I would not put up with that at all. You have options and to hell with a company that behaves in such a manner.

    Full-time employment is the key. Yes, it cuts into profits but what’s happening now is far worse in the short and long-run for the company. This is quite typical of large scale operations like Loblaw, facing stiff competition.

    Remember, you do have choices. Don’t let someone or an entity mistreat you. They are simply not worth your time and valiant effort. Period.

  91. familybreadbasket

    I have been responsible for the family grocery shopping for 19 years now. For a time when finances were tight I spent a fair portion of the food budget at “discount markets” like food basics etc. Perhaps I didn’t pay close enough attention in the beginning at those all important ” best before dates” . I wound up having to toss a good percentage of expired food as a result.
    I now only shop when I have plenty of time to thoroughly examine whats on the shelves . Wow what an eye opener!
    This past September I could not believe the audacity of Westons Bakeries trying to sell bread with an expiry date of SEPT.31/2012 . give it a minute lol , it will sink in.
    This started me on a 1 man mission to stop Zehrs / Loblaws from screwing their customers.
    I started at the Kitchener Zehrs stores one by one I spent 4 full days going over products on their shelves looking at expiry/ best before dates . One zehrs stood out { way out } Their ZEHRS at Glnridge plaza in Waterloo on . With my cell phone camera in hand I photographed 251 expired products on their shelves { none of these were marked as ” clearance ” or expired} .
    There was also a large cooler full of Neilsons frozen products which had large brightly coloured signs reading NEILSONS ICE CREAM $ 3.99 reg. $ 7.99 save $ 4.00 . ONLY 1 THING WRONG WITH THIS BANNER , none of the products on display were in fact ICE CREAM ! Since the new labeling laws came into effect companies have had to relabel these products FROZEN DESERT ! Because they dont contain enough dairy to be called ICE CREAM.
    When I confronted the store manager about his display and the expired products his comment was ” were a little short staffed and the nielsons display signs come froom corporate”
    I told straight up that either he remove the misleading signs or I would return with a news crew . His answer ? ” WHATEVER” .
    The local tv station was not interested in the story at all { much to my surprise} My lawyer advised me to send a copy of the photos I had taken and the rtecorded comments from the manager directly to the company .
    I did just that . The only response I have received thus far is an e-mail from Westons bakeries thanking me for pointing out the ” ERROR ” in the expiry date on their bread products . I have just appointed myself the KEEPER OF THE FOOD and as i’m retired anyhow I have plenty of time to spend exposing these LIARS CHEATS AND THIEVES for exactly what they are .

  92. The Real Canadian Superstore squeezing the poor for more profits is a big mistake and shows no consideration for low income customers and those of us that are less fortunate.

    The recent change of policy on reduced produce shows lack of empathy for people of limited resources. The elderly and those of limited funds are the majority of the shoppers lined up to get bargains in the morning when doors open.

    Three weeks ago Superstore changed its reductions from fifty percent off to thirty off stale produce; a slap in the face for the poor. This makes the savings just too small to continue to shop at Superstore. Now the poorer customers are likely to shop at Walmart.

    This poor judgment will result in loss of income and a lot more food being garbaged by Superstore.

    Thirty percent off mouldy raspberries or stale cheese just does not cut it. This move shows that management is out of touch with its customer base.

    Superstore will inevitably face a loss in sales of price reduced products. Not to mention the huge increase of food headed for the landfill. Lets hope they wake up.

    As a businessman this lack of judgment is spurring me to look elsewhere for my stock market investments .

  93. All I can say is that you can thank the unions slowly killing Lowblaws.