Shoppers Drug Mart

Most SDM stores have been renovated so that when you enter, you have no choice but to go through the Cosmetics Department.  Why is that necessary?  It is an assault on my sinuses and sometimes, when I forget to take a deep breath, I have an allergic reaction.  I suppose they want me to run over to buy an antihistamine!  Many workplaces have restrictions on the wearing of perfumes and colognes, but SDM needs to inflict this on every customer.  I suppose with the insanely high margins are on this crap, it makes sense to try to direct traffic to entice people into buying.  Department Stores like The Bay do the same thing:  The first few acres as you enter from the mall are cosmetics.  Narcissism is hugely profitable for the retailers.

Lately, it seems like SDM has replaced all their personnel in supply chain management (SCM) with the people that messed up Loblaws SCM and were recently laid off.  I cannot believe how many empty spaces there are on the shelves.  I swear, at least half, maybe two-thirds of the razor blades were out of stock and many that were there did not have shelf tags to tell you the price.

SDM’s house brand, Life, has two 908g bottles of Whey Protein.  One has a big “24g” on the upper right corner of the label and the other has “37g” in the same spot.  I normally buy the 24g product, but one day, it was not in stock so I bought the 37g product.  Guess what I discovered?  The only reason there is 37g of protein in each scoop-sized serving of the 37g product is that the scoop is 50% bigger.  I compared the nutritional  labels:  Calories, Sodium, Potassium, EVERYTHING, was 50% higher.  The products are identical, except for (1) the scoop size and (2) the price.  Yes, they charge $5 more for the same volume and weight of product with the larger scoop.  What a ripoff!

Finally, customer service is non-existent, except in cosmetics, of course – those products have the margins.  I looked for someone on the floor to help about something that was not on the shelf and I was directed to the pharmacist.  I was reasonably sure the pharmacist wouldn’t be able to help me, but she dutifully paged a merchandiser, not just once, but three times (!) before someone came out from the back to assist me.  In the meantime, there are two cosmetics consultants standing there chatting with each other.  Heck, if I couldn’t find my mascara, I’d have been helped in no time!

They should change the store name to Shoppers Cosmetics Mart and Wannabee Grocery Store (Oh, and we do have a Pharmacy at the back)


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