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Victoria grocery store and supermarket discussion


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#1161 Mike K.

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 08:27 AM

I think the regulations prohibit retailers from charging fees to use credit cards or insisting on minimum purchase amounts, but they can offer cash discounts if they like.


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#1162 mbjj

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 08:34 AM

I think what mbjj is trying to say is that Root Cellar may have those items, but not at the prices of Oxford Foods.

 

Oxford foods was a true discount grocery.  Root Cellar, although they may have some good deals on a few products, is a different shopping experience to Oxford Foods. 

No, they are not a full-service grocery store. They don't have those items. Even a litre of Island Farms milk is about fifty cents more than Thriftys, a romaine lettuce was 3.99 and the only bread they carry is high class stuff. I think a loaf of "white" is about 5.99. Yes, we could buy paper items at the drug store, but that still leaves a heck of a lot we can't get in Cook St. Village any longer. As for Oxford, they really had a very good range of items, mainstream brands at good prices. We bought our chicken there for years. I also liked that their veg and fruit tended to be in smaller sizes, like small potatoes, small apples, small peppers etc. For us, it meant less waste. 


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#1163 Matt R.

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 11:21 AM

The Island will not run out of food and if there are shortages of some products, consumers should rest assured they will only be short-term.
 
That was the message from Island grocers Thursday as they faced another day of uncertainty following catastrophic floods around the province, which resulted in compromised or destroyed transportation infrastructure and concerns about the supply chain.
 
“We might see a bit of a shortage in a couple of categories, but I don’t think it will be massive and it won’t be long-term,” said Russ Benwell, owner of Red Barn Market, who said challenges could continue through the weekend.
 
 
https://www.timescol...grocers-4775195


It’s great to see them putting on a brave face, but I’m waking up to emails from people who actually distribute the food, and they are telling us to prepare for major shortages across a wide range of products. Sobeys only delivered half our order yesterday, as the other half was in Alberta. I’m sure they are prioritizing Thrifty Foods before our little place, but there is a knock on effect happening.

Sobeys, Sysco, GFS - all major distributors and all are rationing deliveries and limiting selection.

It’s not just fluid dairy, cheese and eggs, we basically make nothing here. I was saddened mostly that we did not get any Haribo. No one will die because they can’t get ketchup or milk, but it’s going to be a pain for people who make their living selling food. :)

Oh, good luck getting a Christmas turkey this year. How many of those are underwater in the Fraser valley right now.

Matt.
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#1164 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 11:33 AM

Underwater Turkeys are scheduled to play our staff Christmas dinner/dance.


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#1165 SimonH

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 12:38 PM

^^^

Sharp as a tack.



#1166 Barrrister

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 01:44 PM

Matt, I appreciate the insights from someone that has actual knowledge such as yourself. 



#1167 mbjj

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 03:55 PM

I went up again to Root Cellar and that other place across the street. Neither place is for folks like us who budget for food. The cheapest peanut butter I could see in Root Cellar was $14.99. The other place had a very limited selection of flour, sugar, etc. but all organic so expensive. Neither has what I call regular-folk food - no tinned soup - only had pricey stuff ($6 a tin), regular pasta, tinned fruits, tomato sauces and pastes, Taco fixings, cake mixes, dessert mixes, Jello, baking supplies like choc. chips, processed cheese, regular jams and marmelades, granola bars, regular white or whole wheat bread, SOS pads and other cleaning stuff (drug store has limited supply)., regular folk cereal like Kellogg's corn flakes, Kraft salad dressing, tins of kidney beans for chili, reasonably priced spices (nutmeg was $18.99 at Root Cellar for a jar that was so big it will outlive me) , teas, coffee and hot choc., limited yogurt and other dairy,  cookies, crackers (only trendy items),  juices (limited and expensive, none like Sun-Rype)  frozen veg, fruits, pizza etc. (limited supply of organic rich folk selections) Indian mixes like tandoori or tikka. The list goes on and on. If I have to walk to shop I will be headed to the Market or Save-On on Vancouver. Root Cellar seems to have an abundance of expensive sauces and drinks in bottles, lol. 



#1168 qv

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 04:09 PM

I went up again to Root Cellar and that other place across the street. Neither place is for folks like us who budget for food. The cheapest peanut butter I could see in Root Cellar was $14.99. The other place had a very limited selection of flour, sugar, etc. but all organic so expensive. Neither has what I call regular-folk food - no tinned soup - only had pricey stuff ($6 a tin), regular pasta, tinned fruits, tomato sauces and pastes, Taco fixings, cake mixes, dessert mixes, Jello, baking supplies like choc. chips, processed cheese, regular jams and marmelades, granola bars, regular white or whole wheat bread, SOS pads and other cleaning stuff (drug store has limited supply)., regular folk cereal like Kellogg's corn flakes, Kraft salad dressing, tins of kidney beans for chili, reasonably priced spices (nutmeg was $18.99 at Root Cellar for a jar that was so big it will outlive me) , teas, coffee and hot choc., limited yogurt and other dairy, cookies, crackers (only trendy items), juices (limited and expensive, none like Sun-Rype) frozen veg, fruits, pizza etc. (limited supply of organic rich folk selections) Indian mixes like tandoori or tikka. The list goes on and on. If I have to walk to shop I will be headed to the Market or Save-On on Vancouver. Root Cellar seems to have an abundance of expensive sauces and drinks in bottles, lol.


Root Cellar is great for fresh produce and high quality meat. It's more of a convenience store for other things.

#1169 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 04:11 PM

I went up again to Root Cellar and that other place across the street. Neither place is for folks like us who budget for food. The cheapest peanut butter I could see in Root Cellar was $14.99. The other place had a very limited selection of flour, sugar, etc. but all organic so expensive. Neither has what I call regular-folk food - no tinned soup - only had pricey stuff ($6 a tin), regular pasta, tinned fruits, tomato sauces and pastes, Taco fixings, cake mixes, dessert mixes, Jello, baking supplies like choc. chips, processed cheese, regular jams and marmelades, granola bars, regular white or whole wheat bread, SOS pads and other cleaning stuff (drug store has limited supply)., regular folk cereal like Kellogg's corn flakes, Kraft salad dressing, tins of kidney beans for chili, reasonably priced spices (nutmeg was $18.99 at Root Cellar for a jar that was so big it will outlive me) , teas, coffee and hot choc., limited yogurt and other dairy,  cookies, crackers (only trendy items),  juices (limited and expensive, none like Sun-Rype)  frozen veg, fruits, pizza etc. (limited supply of organic rich folk selections) Indian mixes like tandoori or tikka. The list goes on and on. If I have to walk to shop I will be headed to the Market or Save-On on Vancouver. Root Cellar seems to have an abundance of expensive sauces and drinks in bottles, lol. 

 

MBJJ:  if living within walking distance of a discount grocery store is important to you and your household, why not relocate to the Quadra Village area or Oak Bay Village?  Both are home to Fairway Market, which is the last remaining independent discount grocer in our region.  There are no remaining single-store discount grocers in our region; the business model is no longer viable for single stores and the only way that Fairway Market is able to survive as an independent, full-service grocer is its status as a small chain (10 locations) which gives them buying power and the ability to negotiate discounts.  Note that Wellburn's and Oxford have both closed in the last few years, and these were the last remaining independent discount grocers (Food Forum also closed but I surmise their prices were higher).  I know that Wellburn's site experienced a plumbing issue and a closure (due to redevelopment), but if the business was viable and profitable the owner would have likely relocated it to a new location to allow him to continue the business in order to sell it before retiring.  In the case of Oxford Foods, I'm certain that the Louie family would have sold the business to a new buyer if the store was profitable, but I strongly suspect that the store was operating on the tiniest of margins.

 

The most likely bet for a new, "independent" discount grocer to open in the city in the near future is probably the potential opening of a No Frills store.  These stores offer deep discounts because they are franchises and benefit from the massive buying power of Loblaw's (as well as reduced inventory complexity and other factors); the 'independence' comes from the fact that each one is owned by a franchisee who has some flexibility in inventory and staffing.


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#1170 UDeMan

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 04:48 PM

I would say the Country Grocer is local and independent, and much cheaper than Fairways.


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#1171 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 05:01 PM

I would say the Country Grocer is local and independent, and much cheaper than Fairways.

It could depend on the item?  In any case, Country Grocer is also benefiting from the buying power they get from their size (7 badged locations + they also own Urban Grocer for a total of 8 retail stores).



#1172 m3m

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Posted 19 November 2021 - 10:35 PM

I don’t consider Fairways a discount chain. They’re the same price as any of the other grocery stores.

For independents grocery stores that aren’t fancy, there’s Tomley’s, peppers, mount Doug market, and probably others I can’t think of now

#1173 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 20 November 2021 - 05:18 AM

Shifting messaging 

 

So, how can such behaviour be prevented?

 

First, McFerran responded, "I don't think excited media reporting of shortages are helping the cause." Moreover, he added that the term 'panic buying' blames the people engaging in it.

 

He said there needs to be a shift toward messaging that collective action can help, that we should ask how we could help our neighbours and communities.

 

"We need to reiterate the robustness of the supply chain," McFerran said. Those chains, when stressed, do react, and necessities do return, he added.

 

And that's been part of the messaging from Victoria.

 

"People need to do the right thing. Be patient," Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said Nov. 17. "The goods are going to get where they need to go."

 

Added Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, "we won't run out of food."

 

 

https://www.timescol...stop-it-4778925

 

 

 

I vehemently disagree.  The "solution" is not muzzling media or social media or whatever the idea is above.  Almost every article I have read does have the government or the retailer saying "don't panic".  But that has not helped.  


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 20 November 2021 - 05:18 AM.


#1174 Klapecki

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Posted 20 November 2021 - 08:14 AM

Saying don’t panic has the exact opposite effect on the general population!
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#1175 Midnightly

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 04:43 AM

i have noticed supply issue with some things... today shoppers had a sign that said "no butter" up due to being completely sold out...  i've been a few places over the last week (picking up the odd thing here and there) and bread products have been limited (fair stock on items baked in store but items like dempsters or other pre-packaged bread has been low stock or sold out... nowhere has had my bagels this week)

 

i wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing small gaps in things like this (listening to the radio, good ole Cfax) they were even talking about supply issues from overseas, items ordered but not being put on the boat (and occasionally only finding out weeks after the order is placed and is due to arrive), much of the goods at large stores get their items from warehouses on the mainland that now can't travel due to rail issues (and this is not just food items, this can be electronics, hardware, tools, appliances...and wouldn't be surprised one bit if it effects live christmas trees)



#1176 Mike K.

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 08:22 AM

At the Colwood Thrifty’s yesterday afternoon the store wasn’t busy, but many meet products had a “good neighbour” limit of two items per visit.

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#1177 Klapecki

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 10:11 AM

Yes I found that thrifty’s had full shelves yesterday but that budget places like Walmart and Costco were pillaged. Perhaps that says something about the specific clientele of the grocery stores.

Edited by Klapecki, 21 November 2021 - 10:12 AM.


#1178 UDeMan

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 11:22 AM

Costco was crazy even before the recent events. The last few times I went there the lineups to checkout were back to the toilet paper area. I can't imagine what it would be these days.

Country Grocer Royal Oak fully stocked with everything and not busy.

#1179 Nparker

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 02:00 PM

Walmart looked like a third world country after the apocalypse (shopocalypse?). Thrifty Foods at Hillside was nearly normal.


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#1180 AllseeingEye

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Posted 21 November 2021 - 08:17 PM

Costco was crazy even before the recent events. The last few times I went there the lineups to checkout were back to the toilet paper area. I can't imagine what it would be these days.

Country Grocer Royal Oak fully stocked with everything and not busy.

 

Certain grocery stores just seem to fly under the radar for whatever reason, that one and that CG location particularly being one of them. Agree its well stocked has good variety and in spite of its location in a bustling neighborhood mall never itself seems overly busy.

 

Thrifty's Admirals Rd store is yet another such outlet, never 'crazy busy' in my experience, always has whatever it is I'm looking for; we're fortunate in that we live equidistant smack in the middle of two Save On stores, the Admiral's Rd Thrifty's, a Country Grocer as well as a Red Barn outlet. We have no particular allegiance to any one of them - what we are specifically looking for typically dictates which retailer and/or location we patronize.



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