Shopping Discussion

Grocery store flyer deals - OOS on day 1 !!

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 17th, 2017 10:49 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 23, 2015
116 posts
71 upvotes

Grocery store flyer deals - OOS on day 1 !!

I just sent off a complaint to the Competition Bureau of Canada and would like to encourage others will similar experiences to do the same. The closest grocery store to me is the worst offender I have ever seen and this may be something that is quite common but Canadian consumers just put up with it for some reason. I consistently encounter out of stock flyer items even on the first day the sale begins. I'm told I have to arrive sooner.

This pattern is consistent and ongoing. It is not a supply problem, an unforeseeable demand or an error. It is simply a way to entice consumers to shop at their store without offering the advertised discounts. I often see similar product substitutions at higher prices. People including myself often don't notice that it isn't the sale product they've purchased when they unpack their groceries at home.

I've quoted some of the pertinent information from the bureau website below. ( click on the Competition Bureau of Canada link above for full document )

From the Bureau website :
Bait and switch selling

Section 74.04 of the Competition Act is a civil provision. It prohibits "bait-and-switch" selling which occurs when a product is advertised at a bargain price, but is not available for sale in reasonable quantities. The provision does not apply if the advertiser can establish that the non-availability of the product was due to circumstances beyond its control, the quantity of the product obtained was reasonable, or the customer was offered a rain check when supplies were exhausted.

If a court determines that a person has engaged in conduct contrary to section 74.04, it may order the person not to engage in such conduct, to publish a corrective notice and/or to pay an administrative monetary penalty of up to $750,000 in the case of a first time occurrence by an individual and $10,000,000 in the case of a first time occurrence by a corporation. For subsequent orders, the penalties increase to a maximum of $1,000,000 in the case of an individual and $15,000,000 in the case of a corporation.
Additional information
1. Bargain price

Section 74.04 does not come into play in all cases of non-availability. It is only relevant where a product is being advertised at a "bargain price" as defined in the section. However, other instances not involving bargain prices may fall within the scope of section 52 or paragraph 74.01(1)(a). The use of words in an advertisement such as "sale price" or "special" could bring an advertisement within the purview of this definition. In addition, if a product is advertised at a price that is significantly lower than the ordinary price for that product in the market, then the provision could also apply even if there is no direct mention in the advertisement that the advertised price is a bargain price.


3. Nature of advertisement

An advertiser may clear out old stock that would not normally amount to a reasonable quantity without contravening the section if he or she clearly specifies in the advertisement the number of items available. However, use of a general phrase, such as "quantities are limited," would not be an absolute defence under this section, although it may reduce the quantity that would otherwise be required for a reasonable supply in a given situation.


5. Defences provided in subsection 74.04(3)
5.2 Reasonable quantities

Although the crux of this reviewable matter depends on the definition of this term, it is not possible to specify what quantities might be considered reasonable since this is an issue to be determined on a case-by-case basis. What is reasonable will depend on the factors outlined in the section, some of which have already been discussed. In general, the best guide for an advertiser would be the history of consumer demand for the same or comparable products during previous sales using similar advertisements. If a reasonable quantity were available, the advertiser would likely have a good defence.
63 replies
Jr. Member
Mar 13, 2004
168 posts
41 upvotes
Aldergrove
6060842 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 3:46 pm
I just sent off a complaint to the Competition Bureau of Canada and would like to encourage others will similar experiences to do the same. The closest grocery store to me is the worst offender I have ever seen and this may be something that is quite common but Canadian consumers just put up with it for some reason. I consistently encounter out of stock flyer items even on the first day the sale begins. I'm told I have to arrive sooner.

This pattern is consistent and ongoing. It is not a supply problem, an unforeseeable demand or an error. It is simply a way to entice consumers to shop at their store without offering the advertised discounts. I often see similar product substitutions at higher prices. People including myself often don't notice that it isn't the sale product they've purchased when they unpack their groceries at home.

I've quoted some of the pertinent information from the bureau website below. ( click on the Competition Bureau of Canada link above for full document )

From the Bureau website :
any chance this store is No Frills????
No Frills flyer shows a fantastic price - typical by 11:00 am sold out and no rain checks allowed.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 23, 2015
116 posts
71 upvotes
dustymisty wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 3:54 pm
any chance this store is No Frills????
No Frills flyer shows a fantastic price - typical by 11:00 am sold out and no rain checks allowed.
How did you know?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 23, 2015
116 posts
71 upvotes
I have identified the store in my complaint to the Competition Bureau. It really doesn't matter which store it is as I think this problem is probably not limited to this single store or chain in any city or province.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2011
1164 posts
191 upvotes
I generally never run into this problem and I mostly shop at NoFrills. I usually go on Thursday around opening to get my stuff. Now if I go on a Monday and expect to find the stuff I am generally left empty but that is to be expected.
Alex
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 23, 2015
116 posts
71 upvotes
sherman51 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 4:10 pm
I generally never run into this problem and I mostly shop at NoFrills. I usually go on Thursday around opening to get my stuff. Now if I go on a Monday and expect to find the stuff I am generally left empty but that is to be expected.
So you're the one who buys ALL of the weekly specials.
Last edited by 6060842 on Nov 13th, 2017 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Jr. Member
Mar 13, 2004
168 posts
41 upvotes
Aldergrove
sherman51 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 4:10 pm
I generally never run into this problem and I mostly shop at NoFrills. I usually go on Thursday around opening to get my stuff. Now if I go on a Monday and expect to find the stuff I am generally left empty but that is to be expected.
sales prices start on Friday and end on Thursday.
I expect an advertised sale to have enough stock for the sale flyer dates.
You are fortunate your No Frills has enough stock - my No Frills runs out on day one for the complete sale time.
And No Frills do not give rainchecks.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 23, 2011
1164 posts
191 upvotes
6060842 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 4:12 pm
So your the one who buys ALL of the weekly specials.
Winking Face
Alex
Jr. Member
Mar 13, 2004
168 posts
41 upvotes
Aldergrove
lambertbob912 wrote:
Nov 13th, 2017 4:03 pm
Which store is this OP? No Frills? if so which one?
I'm not the original poster but I shop at the No Frills at the Langley Mall.

Sale prices are out of stock day one - permanently - so darn frustrating.

no rain checks given.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 10, 2008
10407 posts
12737 upvotes
Montreal
They often don't limit quantities but then again they come as a gang , from aunties to grandma and the 6 kids and leave with carts full
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2009
2771 posts
2891 upvotes
I think the problem is location dependent. Even the store puts a limit on the item, it is not quite useful as people can just do multiple checkout. Unless the store has never received the flyer product, which considers as cheating to customers, there is not much the store can do.
Deal Addict
Feb 7, 2017
1429 posts
757 upvotes
Don't shop at No Frills
(for oh so any reasons, including this one)

In reality, this is "sort of" a problem at lots of Grocery Stores ... Find often enough that a sale item is out of stock

Which is why I've learned that if I see something in the flyer & really truly want the best opportunity on getting it... Then I have to shop the sale sooner than later in week

I mean seriously, Grocery Stores IMO cannot always know how popular an item is, or how fast it will sell out... Day 1 - Day 3 - Day 5 ... Or lots left over on Day 7

If its really important to you, then get there on Day 1... Or ask the store for a Raincheck or substitution

Or change stores!

Talk is cheap... Taking your business elsewhere, as that gets noticed has more of an effect on their bottom line
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2009
4748 posts
464 upvotes
Toronto
If it's a supply issue they should have their notice up at the entrance, how you know it's not...you must have inquired.

Most grocery stores have 95% the same items on sale every 4-10 weeks, with that much history it's not hard to get orders right to be in stock...well again 95% of the time.

Only items I can think of that "might" be sold out first day are perishable items (if you came in the last hour maybe) but they should be getting an order in almost every day.
Remember to be an RFD-er and NOT a degenerate.

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