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Jul 21, 2013 06:14 PM

Whole Foods in Montreal?

Any news about when or where they might open here?

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    1. Does anyone know what they're opening next to the Walmart on Decarie? It's looks pretty big.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Evilbanana11

        i think theyre rebuilding the walmart

            1. re: C70

              Yes, a ToysRUs is opening up there. Evilbanana asked a question and I replied with the answer. lol

              You can see the property listings here.


        1. I'd love to see Whole Foods and Trader Joe's open here. Retail grocery is pretty stale here.

          7 Replies
          1. re: meagain

            We don't need more American chains that ships profits south of the border and doesn't buy local produce.

            1. re: williej

              Sorry to tell you everything is market driven. Loblaws etc. have no loyalty to Canada or Quebec despite their marketing. They all do what they have to, to maximize profits and pay as little tax as possible. Do you really think that "Canadian" companies are better. TJ and WF will do the same but we all know they are better honed retail outlets with a different slant. If they operate in Canada they have the same rules financially. Do you really think the Weston family needs more money?

              1. re: meagain

                We don't need another chain; we should be supporting our local food stores. There are plenty of organic food stores around that are locally owned and operated.

                I agree about Loblaws. I used to live in the West and talked often with Safeway store managers who bemoaned the central control of ordering at HQ. But you don't solve the problem with bringing another chain in. You solve the problem by continuing to patronize locally owned and operated stores.

                There have been many posts on here about Whole Foods high prices. (I don't know anything about TJs. Apparently they have a better reputation on these fora).

                I just get tired of people who have traveled (or lived) in the US who think the US chains are better than what we have here.

                On the other thread that was about WF, someone wrote that the demographic that would shop there doesn't exist in the locations (ie where there is room for a big box store) that they would want to open in. So don't hold your breath on them opening here soon.

                1. re: williej

                  "We" support our local stores 7 on 7 by shopping at PA. That doesn't mean WF or TJ aren't better than our horrible billionaire owned chains.

                  1. re: meagain

                    I shop at PA too, and much smaller concerns. Whole Foods is absurdly expensive, according to my friends in the US. And while TJ seems much more interesting, I don't think the most interesting buys would be available here, at least not more than at PA, which has great deals, for structural reasons.

                2. re: meagain

                  I dislike using the word "sorry" to insinuate that others are somehow dimwitted. No, everything is not market-driven, consumers have a say as well. I suppose you could call that a facet of market-driven, but then everything is everything, non? 

                  And no, there are not the same rules. Bringing in TJ will not entail "two-buck chuck", and there are also different rules around dairy products.

              2. re: meagain

                Meagain, "stale" is true if you only shop at major chains. There are a lot of interesting small shops and "ethnic" supermarkets here.

              3. Given how anti-union Whole Paycheck is, I would be very surprised if they ever opened up a store in a very pro-union province.

                I would go for a TJ's though. Hell, I'd settle for a TJ's opening up in Burlington at the very least.

                24 Replies
                1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                  Agree that TJ is more desirable considering WF price point, and didn't know about their union stance. That's bad.

                  1. re: meagain

                    To all those lauding TJs and shooting down WF for their prices, I think you're grossly misinformed and misdirected on a forum that should value quality of foods and ingredients first and foremost. The fact is that TJs buys the absolutel shittiest and cheapest produce from suppliers that nobody else wants and that's the only reason they can offer them up so cheaply. They also treat their suppliers incredibly poorly. I have a close friend who is a buyer for a large cheese supplier and there is no loyalty whatsoever at TJs. Their product is not comparable to Whole Foods, let alone most independents. They might treat their employees well, but they don't think twice about screwing over their suppliers and their produce, dairy and meats are all terrible, as is their overall selection. The truth is that they have the best marketing around and the worst product. I'd still welcome a Whole Foods in Montreal over a Trader Joe's any day, because I put more value towards the quality of stock and selection than the pricing alone.

                    1. re: OliverB

                      I am not that familiar with either chain but always look for opportunities to check them out when travelling because I feel like I am always reading about great things available there. It seems to me that what people love about TJ's is more the prepared foods: snacks, frozen meals, candies, etc - not necessarily produce.

                      1. re: stak

                        Yeah, I've never thought of Trader Joe's as a place to get fresh meat or produce. IIRC, back in the day, Trader Joe's didn't even sell produce.

                      2. re: OliverB

                        Yeah, I go for the snacks, not the produce and dairy and what not. I like their trail mixes and such like for road trips.

                        I've nothing against Whole Paycheck but to me, comparing it to TJ's is like apples and oranges. Sometimes you want apples; sometimes you want oranges. And I miss living in a place where I could buy both whenever the hell I wanted.

                        1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                          We have our own Canadian choices; who needs American choices? I go on another forum where Americans talk about stores in their small towns. They praise towns that have Tarjet or WalMart as if there is nothing else available to shop at, and as if having such a store is a hallmark of civilization. This discussion reminds me of those discussions. We live in Montreal where there are tons of choices for Canadian owned stores and markets. Why do we need an American chain in here that will destroy locally owned small businesses while paying low wages to its workers?
                          I am inspired by a little town in England that refused to patronize a Costa Coffee (UK's Starbucks-like chain) on their High Street because it was killing small coffee shops in their town. So eventually the Costa shop left.

                          Have some self confidence in your local food choices, Montrealers!

                          1. re: williej

                            Well economically speaking the more competition the higher the consumer surplus or lower cost to consumers. No need to be unwelcome, they may offer benefits to segments of the population and if so then they deserve a place, if not they will leave. Personally I think they definitely have a market.. what people say they are willing to boycott vs reality is very different especially when you look at the segment of the population who would shop at WH regardless of socio-political issues. Why not welcome either.... if what we offer now is so great then we have nothing to fear! Let the market decide.

                            1. re: kpaxonite

                              I love the slogan "let the market decide" as it the market isn't made up of people. I come from a small business background (as if you didn't guess) and the history of small business in my home city was that big business got all sorts of tax breaks and free infrastructure support that basically ensured that small business couldn't survive. So "let the market decide" translates into more roads, cheap land and big box stores, and the environmental degradation that comes with all that.

                              1. re: williej

                                I too have a small business background but frankly the barbarians are not at the gate. They are in the city. No one's closed the gate so there is nothing to stop the flow. As I have stated before, I don't believe WF will ever open here as they do not care for unions. And to do business in Quebec on a large scale, you have to deal with unions. So this may be the only sure thing preventing them from ever coming here.

                                  1. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                    I would think that language regulations would be a far greater barrier than unions. As a small business owner myself, I too favour the little guy whenever possible. However as a frequent visitor to Toronto I can attest that the smallish Whole Foods outlet in Hazelton Lanes blows anything in Montreal into the weeds. The Whole Foods flagship store in Austin will blow your mind.

                                    1. re: eat2much

                                      Language regulations in Canada just mean having the french equivalent on the label. Small fish in the business. Laziness doesn't equal success.

                                      1. re: meagain

                                        Language in the workplace and product labeling are two separate issues. The latter is relatively simple for a multinational, the former not so much.

                                        1. re: eat2much

                                          We have crap chains that are anti union all over our city, BK, KFC, wal mart, target, McDs, Home Depot, etc. All the grocery stores sell the same junk and everyone is against the option of a WF?

                                          1. re: eat2much

                                            Tell that to McDo, Walmart, Target, Gap, etc. etc. Quebec lives in an American retail environment. If WF is like Loblaws you just don't have floor employees (at least it seems that way) so language is not an issue.
                                            As a non-sequitor side remark, there are more floor employees at PA Parc than Loblaws Jean Talon, by far.

                                            1. re: meagain

                                              Further to your side remark, it seems like there are often more floor employees at PA Parc than there are customers...and there are plenty of customers!

                                              1. re: stak

                                                I think PA Parc is the ultimate in community retail business. Tons of employees who work hard in a successful enterprise that has great prices and customer relations. And the managers seem to treat their employees with great respect.

                                        2. re: eat2much

                                          The only equivalent areas in Montreal that would have Hazelton Lanes type shoppers is Outremont and Westmount. Neither of those areas have shopping malls like HL. But maybe WF wants to try out a smaller shop mode like the new Adonis on Ste Catherine and Four Seasons on Greene.

                                          Or maybe Griffintown?

                                          It just doesn't make sense as a business model to open in Montreal in a smaller footprint. (I have seen the one in Austin...rather large!)

                                        3. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                          Wal-Mart, Target and every US fast food franchise that has come here don't care for unions either and that's not stopping them. I don't think it's the sort of thing that would stop WF.

                                          1. re: SnackHappy

                                            A friend out West who went to a new Tarjet in his city reports they have the same selection as the Bay and what Zellers used to have. Just seems like a slightly cleaner Wal Mart to him. So he couldn't see what the hype was about.

                                            It sounds to me like when I was a kid and we couldn't get Levis in Canada (only Lee jeans were available in this country). So we nipped across the border to buy Levis just because they were 'forbidden fruit' in Canada.

                                            1. re: williej

                                              I agree there's a huge amount of hype. Walmart, first, as some sort of savior. But its stores are just dumps, dirty, and, meh, selling crap. Economic lives were not changed from switching from Zellars to Walmart. When I hear people talking about the great deals they get at Walmart I just want to puke at their gullibility.
                                              Food could be a different story, TJ and WH offer a whole new shopping experience. They are different. They might be not worth the money, and will be more expensive but fill a different profile. That's also why they just don't expand everywhere.

                                          2. re: Peaches to Poutine

                                            Never mind, union stuff had already been covered...

                                      2. re: williej

                                        williej, considering Montreal will never get a TJ's--they have no interest nor plans in opening any Canadian stores if their email correspondance to the curious is to be believed--and will have a hard time getting a WF due to their business practices, I think you can rest easy.

                                        And I would take your Shop Local stance more seriously if Montreal wasn't inundated with chains like everywhere else on the planet. This isn't a small town in England; this is a major metropolitan area where not everyone has the ability/budget/wherewithal to shop local. The majority of us on CH can do so because we probably can afford to do so. I laud local businesses like anyone else, but not everyone is the same.

                                        (Also, I find it heartening that Sherbrooke doesn't have a single Starbucks or Second Cup. THAT'S amazing.)

                                1. I heard they are suppose to open up here and expand latter on i think something like 2014 but not sure. Regardless you can find plenty of organic natural foods there are many small ones scattered everywhere in montreal area and off the island bigger ones like Marche Tau in st leo the jean talon market has some natural foods and i think viva eco bio on the 440 in laval is good. There are many more.