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Nov 6, 2008 08:41 AM

LOBLAWS Deathwish

Recently returned to the Loblaws at Christie and Dupont after their "renovations". Now the decor matches the demeanor of the customer sevice staff. Very cold and unforgiving. They have moved to self checkout, elminating the only warmth in the building: the cashiers.

Was looking for a special, and of course no one knew that it had been sold out on day one, and in fact most staff were totally unaware where SUGAR would be located. This is not some new product, or esoteric item the Kid has stocked up on to flog, but an everyday necessity.

Went to Customer Service, and while asking the clerk about the special, a worker grabbed my empty cart and returned it to the parking lot! I told the CS person that I wasn't finished shopping!!! Her retort " we don't like to see empty carts at the front
of the store.!!! With the frosty atitude and the industrial ambience, they may only have empty carts at the front of the store, no customers.

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  1. Wow...this is so true...I was just in the Loblaws near me...Millwood/Redway and the same process is underway...the place is SO COLD now...the lighting isn't at all attractive and the place just looks very unappealing...they aren't finished yet but I didn't like what I saw...makes the Metro look warm and cozy!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: tochowchick

      And they replaced their proper rotisserie with a combi-oven.

      1. re: embee

        Didn't notice that...just sped in last night to pick up one thing and was taken aback by the change...I won't be rushing back any time soon...

    2. Have they gone to ALL self serve checkouts, or simply added some? The cashiers at the (completed) Gerrard/VP location are, if anything, friendlier than they were in the past.

      4 Replies
      1. re: embee

        I hope it's not all self serve checkouts, what a mess. If there's no one in line at all I'll use the self serve but have you ever been behind someone that can't handle it or decides to let their 2 year old check everything trough? It can take days...

        1. re: abigllama

          I had the same question! They are just finishing renovations on my local store (Oshawa), and they've seemingly gone all self-serve. Not completely, though. They still scan the items, but you have to bag them yourself at each and every checkout.

          Ridiculous. How are they going to get around the issue of some people have physical/health impairments? Idiots.

          1. re: Bueno

            I go to the one at Dundas and Royal York in the west end. They have added self-serve but they have also kept the regular checkout. They even have a separate person at each lane to bag for you (instead of the cashier scanning and bagging). There are also more cashiers working (I go every Sunday afternoon) so the wait time has been a lot less.

        2. re: embee

          not all. was there a couple weeks back for the oyster specials and there was definitely a long line of cashiers. i think the self-checkout greets you first though but certainly is not any more than the "usual".

        3. They are renovating the one on Lakeshore in Port Credit as well. I'm not sure if they've finished yet, but last time I was in it had a big box store atmosphere.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tjr

            The irony is tough to miss. Costco, while the epitome of "BIG BOX" in physical terms, is staffed with conscientious crews who "get" CRM and try to make you happy. Loblaws with Weston at the helm is circling the drain, and the derangement only deepens as the RPMs increase. I often hear customers bellowing for checkers around the Mississauga Loblaws when they're herded to the self-serve check-outs. My already-short Loblaws shopping list will shrink to invisisbility if they ditch old school check-out.

            1. re: Kagemusha

              I've been so disappointed with the Loblaws in my area that I'll only go for certain sale items, and for cartons of PC pineapple juice, which imo, is the best product they sell there.

              1. re: tjr

                The only thing I go there for is PC organic chicken broth. I purchase a dozen Tetra-Paks at a time so I don't have to step foot in the place again for weeks.

                1. re: Tatai

                  It is remarkably good chicken broth isn't it.

          2. Two words: Fiesta Farms. I stopped going to Loblaw or Loblaw's or whatever they're called this week. Even for PC Points I won't go. The Christie Dupont location was all right for a while there but all right isn't enough. So, Fiesta Farms gets my grocery money and my impulse purchase money and in the summer, my garden money. In return I get quality, competitive pricing, a variety of choice on the shelf and the knowledge that I'm not making Galen Weston that much richer.

            8 Replies
            1. re: escoffier

              I think the Loblaws at Vic Park and Gerard, after renos, is better than it was...........but my heart belongs to Highland Farms.

              If it wasnt so far from my house, I'd never go elsewhere. Their meat counter, pasta selection, produce and great prices on staples all things of beauty. Plus they will bag your groceries and not snarl at you.

              BTW, did you see the Loblaws ad with Master Weston in a house that looks like it is in Pickering? Yeah, like I am so sure ..........

              1. re: Vern Ryerse

                Highland Farms every time! And why so few and in such far away suburban locations :( One of the best things they do is NO MUZAK!! It's so peaceful..... the vegetables are outstanding, one of the few places you can always find viola eggplants.

                1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                  The great thing about Highland Farms (the Mississauga location, anyway) is that there are always many cashiers available. Other grocery stores just don't seem to get this. What is the point of having 12 checkout lanes if you ever only have 5 cashiers on duty at most, even at peak shopping times?

                  I don't get the 'cheapening' of Loblaws either. They are just blowing good money on renovations to create an appearance of cheapness while still charging the old fancy-pants prices. But marketing only gets you so far.

                  1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                    Highland Farms once had a store at Danforth and Arundel. I lived two minutes away. It was a truly disgusting place, with poor quality merchandise, non-existent service, and a revolting smell that I can't really describe.

                    Something changed along the way. Perhaps it was a generational change, but they do indeed have nice stores now. Their cleanliness obsession seems almost a reaction formation to their old downtown store. These stores are in the burbs because it isn't economic to build stores this size anywhere near downtown.

                    Highland Farms is not a high end quality store. It was originally modeled on Knob Hill, but they evolved while Knob Hill didn't, and Knob Hill died. Highland has a very good grocery and produce selection. Though they have huge service counters for meats and deli, the quality of what they sell there is pretty poor. Paradoxically, they provide less service at their service counters than Loblaw's, or Metro, or Sobey's. Just one example: if you want, say, a steak cut thicker than the ones on display, they typically refuse. Until fairly recently, I recall lining up to get produce weighed before checking out, a practice that had disappeared from every other chain (except Knob Hill) decades ago.

                    1. re: embee

                      Just out of curiosity, when did the Highland Farms at Danforth and Arundel exist?

                        1. re: embee

                          I remember that store from the early 1980's. I think the name and the chain was bought out by a different family.
                          Now I really like "Sun Valley" on the Danforth. Always clean.

                2. re: escoffier

                  Fiesta Farms has its virtues. Unfortunately, convenience to me isn't one of them. It's a very interesting store and one of the few that seems open to customer requests. That said, I've found the quality of the meats and fish at Fiesta Farms to be well below my expectations. Loblaw's (at least a good one) has better quality stuff on offer.

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