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Nov 20, 2012 12:01 PM

PC products/Loblaws in Mtl

Long-time in the making personal rant: i'm so annoyed with the Loblaws stores in Montreal because they carry only about a third of the PC products. Every few months, i receive the Insider's Report, find something that tickles my fancy, only to go to Loblaws and not find it. Most of the time, the personnel is clueless about the existence of said product and I wind up leaving frustrated! I'm so done with them; next time, I get their Insider's report, i'm chucking it in the recycle bin!

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  1. I don't know to which loblaws you go to, but never had major problem finding the bunch of the products!

    As for clueless employees, that seems to be a dominant factor in retail business these days!

    2 Replies
    1. re: westaust

      I have tried Ahuntsic, TMR and Angus in the past. They only carry a fraction of the new advertised products. Even on the PC products website, there are many products (not new ones) that aren't available; I don't know if it's particular to Montreal or all of Quebec.

      1. re: hungryann

        talk to manager. But you are right the only will carry what sells and each area is different for sales reslts. But if you ask for the product, they will get it for you.

    2. I have had similar experiences. I now look at the Insider's Report thinking, "well, maybe I will get lucky and they will have it at my store. If so, bonus!" (although I haven't actually tried many PC products and haven't found the ones I've tried to be anything special, for the most part). Provigo is supposed to have PC products too, right? I went to my local store about 3 times last summer looking for a balsamic onion relish and they never had it; sometimes they had the other condiments in the same line, but never the one I wanted. I have also found that several times, the meat specials advertised in the flyer are not available; I get various excuses in answer to my inquiries.

      23 Replies
      1. re: stak

        My local Provigo has been franchised, and they plan on doing that to most of them. I already see a mess in the making. They never have the weekly meat specials in stock and I'm just fed up with them. Metro and their points program are getting the bulk of my grocery budget. As for PC, I've already expressed my discontent with them here. Not the quality they used to provide, and overpriced.

        1. re: C70

          That has long been the case with Intermarché, though I find they are the best in terms of items such as fresh vegetables, cheeses etc.

          Metro annoys me greatly, despite the points, because so many of their specials are only available in multiples. That may be useful for a family, but for a single person in a flat with limited storage space (and who wants to eat fresh food above all), it is a slap in the face.

          1. re: lagatta

            I thought QC law stated that the special still applies if you only get a single eg. if you get 2 steaks for 10$, if you buy 1 they charge you 5$.

            or am I not understanding the issue.

            1. re: jfprieur

              I do not believe metro applies this; I'm quite sure I've avoided items because of it. Maybe it's because they do not clearly label the price of 1 item the way provigo & maxi do it, which is:
              $5 each (in smaller print)

              1. re: artstate

                they do now, artstate, I wouldn't shop there so often of they didn't. For example, last week they had frozen "Fondue Chinois" beef, 2/$6. I bought 1 at $3, I like them for stir-fries.

                1. re: C70

                  Good to know! I'll just watch out for exceptions, but this is good news

              2. re: jfprieur

                The special will apply to single items unless specified otherwise. For example if the tag says $3 or 2 for $4.

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  Pharmaprix does that a lot as well.

                  This is vile for singles or people of limited incomes.

                  1. re: lagatta

                    I really don't know what you are talking about. Most of everything that I see discounted at Metro and at Pharmaprix are sold as singles. Metro is especially good for discounts on meats.

                    1. re: catroast

                      Sale on multiples at Jean Coutu are charged at the same price when buying a single unit. But at Pharmaprix, when they ring up at the register the first one scanned will appear at the single unit price and then when they scan the second one, the price compensates for the first. (ex: 3.99$ or 2/5$ first will scan at 3.99$ second will scan at 1.01$). Unless this has changed, since I stopped shopping there earlier this year.

                      1. re: causeimhungry

                        Getting back to Loblaws banners, I often find good parapharmaceutical prices during their pharmacy sales, including Sensodyne and an own brand with the same content (depending on which Sensodyne product you need).

                        I've only seen pharmacies in Loblaw and Maxi stores, don't know if any Provigo have them.

                        1. re: lagatta

                          My thread has been completely hijacked by this off topic discussion.

                  2. re: SnackHappy

                    Just a quick note to let you know that we removed some off-topic posts about pharmacies here. It was just getting a little far afield for Chowhound.

                2. re: lagatta

                  lagatta, they tried that last year and it's back to normal, with multiples not being required for savings (even though they advertise them as so). Adonis and Metro serve most of my needs, except for the odd fish or specialty meat cut. I'll only go to Provigo for the odd super flyer special... staples like peanut butter, Lancia pasta, or cat food.

                  1. re: C70

                    At my local Metro, which is Metro Bourdon at the corner of Jean-Talon and avenue de Chateaubriand, they actually had a sign with 3 cod loins for $10 and one for $3,99. If I have time tomorrow (I have a rush of work) I'll try to buy one and see what happens.

                    Adonis serves a lot of needs, but I don't always have the time to cycle up there, and it is a bit cold in November. When snow sets in, sometimes I buy a monthly or weekly public transport pass (OPUS) so then I am more likely once again to go up there.

                    Of course I am also a few minutes from Jean-Talon Market (deliberately) and Milano can be surprisingly competitive not only in terms of quality but also price for vegetables in the wintertime.

                    IGA, if I recall, has the multiple for fondue chinoise venison. I'll attempt to buy one!

              3. re: stak

                Yes, I can never find the caramelized onion relish either plus some other products that look interesting. The Insider's report is just a tease LOL

                1. re: hungryann

                  it's a tease full of preservatives and crap, HA. Be strong, resist! Then make them yourself.

                  1. re: hungryann

                    All of the Insider's Report items are usually available at Loblaw's, within a few weeks of it being published. Provigos, being smaller stores, don't always stock everything, so if there is a specific product you want, you are better off looking at Loblaws. That being said, while they may have the items from the Insider's Report, they often don't have other PC items that I like buying - and asking the manager hasn't helped (they usually claim there isn't the demand at their store for the item in question).
                    I have found that the West Island Loblaws stores tend to be the best for PC product selection - unfortunately, I don't live on the West Island...

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      In my experience, even after a few weeks, they still don't have a lot of the advertised products. They will carry mostly all the junk food type stuff.

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        I have to agree with cheryl RE West Island Loblaws. The demographic out there is much more likely to buy PC products, and I'm willing to bet that the stores are better-stocked than some in the city.

                      2. re: hungryann

                        Hungryann, you should try the Loblaws at Parc and Jean-Talon. It`s big, and it has at least half of the new PC products, including Black Label.

                        1. re: snicmhuilean

                          Parc and Jean-Talon is the one close to me. However, sometimes they don't have PC products I've seen in the seasonal booklet flyers.

                          I saw frozen PC pâte feuilletée there yesterday - has anyone tried that? I'd love to dress up my annual duck tourtière with a feuilletée crust...

                          1. re: snicmhuilean

                            It does now, but for the longest time that one barely carried any of the Black Label line.

                      3. I've been trying to find the new Salted Caramel ice cream *forever*. So unfair that everyone gets the new stuff but not us.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: mellybean

                          That was one of the things I was looking for as well.

                          1. re: hungryann

                            Loblaws in Kirkland had the salted caramel - $4.99 for a small container that was just ok & you had to look very closely to see the tiny specks of salted caramel. What p.o.s me is the lack of choice at Loblaws. I can no longer find the POM brand hot dog & hamburger buns. I don't think they carry any POM bread either. Some baking products such as slivered almonds, are only offered in the generic packaging or en vrac already packaged. Compare to Price Chopper in the very small town of Plattsburg where you have 1 dedicated aisle for just cereal and multiple brands for most if not all products.

                            1. re: RhondaB

                              most of the president's choice products are terrible. i was excited when i saw the black label marcona almonds -- which I soon found were 60% cheaper and of better quality at my local market. besides, lamenting over processed food is exactly what this board is not about.

                              1. re: RhondaB

                                I certainly wouldn't by slivered almonds at Loblaws. In the same neighbourhood as the Loblaws close to me (Parc-Extension) there are several South Asian grocery shops that carry them for a lower price, and here in Little Italy one can always find them at Anatol's.

                                Wonder if Havre aux Glaces carries salted caramel ice-cream?

                                1. re: RhondaB

                                  Did they ever carry POM? Considering that Loblaws is owned by the Weston family, you can usually find Weston breads and buns (although strangely enough, it's been very difficult to find the PC Gigantico hamburger and hot dog buns, which I prefer - but this may be chain-wide, and not just Montreal).

                              2. re: mellybean

                                Your salted caramel ice cream is at the Loblaws in Parc Ex

                                There are 4 left as of 15 min ago

                                There are 4 other flavours of Black Label ice cream

                              3. I don't think this has been mentioned but Loblaws has had huge distribution problems for years. This has been reported in the business pages for a long time and has lead to stocking problems.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: meagain

                                  speaking of which, why are the products from recipes to riches all made in the usa

                                  1. re: catroast

                                    My guess: they are hiring a specialty producer that can handle unusual ingredient combos, deal with recipes that aren't designed for industrial scale production, and put out smaller batches of products affordably.