Thursday, November 18, 2010

No Frills

No Frills opened in place of Superstore on the West Side. It's been a few months, and I have been there only three times, and once I did not purchase anything. They have a few policies I don't like, and I finally got around to drafting a note to send to them:

No Frills recently opened in my neighborhood and I am very disappointed. Your policy of not taking Visa as a form of payment has limited my desire to shop in your store. I use Visa for most purchases and I do not frequent stores who refuse to accept it. I am also frustrated by your shopping cart policy. While the deposit system may be desirable for your company, it is not convenient for the customer. The carts provided are large, heavy, and difficult to maneuver. The smaller carts, which were very popular and easy to use for most of the clientele of that store (primarily senior citizens), seem to have disappeared. It appears that the more senior staff were laid off in favor of student workers, who don't seem to be very helpful or friendly -- they barely look at me, let alone smile, while I am checking out. What used to be a weekly trip to Superstore has now turned into an avoidance of No Frills.

If you don't take Visa, then I'm not going to spend my $100 grocery order at your store, it's that simple. I don't carry a lot of cash, I don't want to use debit, I want to use Visa to build up my points. This policy has driven me to shop primarily at Sobeys, and I have also been spending more of my money at Co-op, who needs it if they're going to stay in business. Co-op's student workers are also quite friendly and helpful.

Having to pay 25¢ deposit to get a shopping cart out of hawk is ridiculous. I know the thinking: if the customer has to pay for it, it will get returned to the stall, people won't steal them, etc. All it has done for me is make sure that if I go in the store, I don't buy enough to need a cart. Or I take a free cart from Zellers lying around in the parking lot. This policy is only convenient for the person who bought the carts, not the people purchasing things in the store. The worst part about the carts is the removal of the small carts. They were my cart of choice, much easier to handle, and I know I'm not the only person who thinks that. There a many senior citizens on the West side, and if I'm having a hard time steering a giant heavy yellow cart, I know they must be too.

They laid off most of the senior people at this store when it changed banners. In their place are student-aged workers who obviously are only there because they have to be. That attitude shows through in how they deal with you at the checkout. One girl mumbles and barely looks at me, I actually try to avoid her line if I am there. Another just seems like he's tired and you're bothering him. I just haven't had a great experience dealing with the checkers at this store.

I'd be interested to know how things are going at this store since the change. I heard some of my co-workers talking about how great the low prices were. I agree, some sale prices are the lowest in town, and that is the sole reason I have been in the store a few times. This store also re-introduced a bag fee, something that had been so unpopular it was eliminated across the Maritimes last year. I'm curious which side has won out: low prices, or cart deposits/bag fees/limited payment options/less selection. I wonder how many have defected to Sobeys, or now choose to go to Superstore in other parts of town.


Scum said...

All we've been in for are the lowest prices. They haven't enticed me to purchase more than just the sales for the same reasons you mention.

I don't mind a big cart, but I don't carry cash, so I rarely have a quarter to free a cart from its prison (and if I do, I save it for Aidan's locker for swim lessons).

Liza said...

In our neighborhood, it's called Shop 4 Less and is patroned by a majority of people who receive pubic assistance.

A couple of weeks ago, I took my next-door neighbor to this market at her request, so decided to do a bit of self-shopping. I picked up a large carton of cottage cheese, not out of date, but which must not have been kept cold -- because after eating some the next morning, I became instantly sick.

Perhaps it's a good thing that they make shopping such a difficult challenge for you so you don't have to risk negative after effects of saving a few dollars here and there!

canadianicewolf said...

Did you ever hear anything back from them?

liz said...

No, not a word. Guess they don't give a crap that I spend a lot less in their store now.