Shopping Discussion

How does Shoppers Drug Mart have so many customers? Awful prices on everything.

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  • Feb 19th, 2018 7:07 pm
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[OP]
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Sep 22, 2009
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How does Shoppers Drug Mart have so many customers? Awful prices on everything.

Just wondering. All the food and drinks are cheaper in a supermarket. All the prescription drug dispensing fees are cheaper elsewhere. All hygiene products are cheaper elsewhere in my experience. Not sure about make-up and perfume, perhaps some women can comment on these. All candy, cards, and miscellaneous junk are far cheaper elsewhere.

They are not convenient. They generally are not open 24 hours, so cannot compete with convenience stores. I understand some of them are open until midnight, whereas most supermarkets will close between 8 and 10. In this case I can understand if they are popular for 2 hours out of each 24 hour day. But during the other times, why would anyone go there? The price difference isn't just marginal from my observation; nearly every item is 50% to 100% more expensive at Shoppers Drug Mart than at other major retailers.

They seem to be profitable and opening new stores all the time. My question is why does anyone shop there regularly enough to keep them in business?

There are of course other businesses which offer terrible prices and a crappy shopping experience and still manage to stay afloat. But Shoppers doesn't seem to be just staying afloat; they are constantly opening new locations, huge gaudy stores everywhere. As far as I know they don't have any unique product monopolies; they just resell what everyone else resells with no differentiation at all. Why are they able to make enough money to do this despite being -- on paper -- uncompetitive in terms of pricing, products, convenience and shopping experience?
142 replies
Deal Expert
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Mar 22, 2007
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I'm happy with their $.59 tissue boxes
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Mar 25, 2005
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Butter is cheap. :lol:

If you leverage their points system correctly, you can get a ~30-40% discount on items. Occasionally they have "free points" opportunity as well where you can purchase gift cards eligible for points.
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Jan 31, 2010
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They have attractive people working there.
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Nov 20, 2011
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Ontario, Canada
I got there for beauty products and meds when i get sick. Some makeup brands are cheaper @ Jean Coutu or Pharma but, they shoppers have more of a variety of brands & easy to save via optimum card. Shoppers out here are 24h.
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Mar 22, 2007
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Trojan condoms are good. Although amazon has some for cheap.
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Jan 10, 2010
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I only go there for their pharmacy and postal counter. Occasionally I buy milk from them when they have it on sale. Other than that, their stuff is almost always more expensive than everybody else, even on sale!
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Jan 7, 2007
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Milk is cheaper.
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Apr 6, 2008
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From what I know overall revenue cosmetics and pharmacy are about equal, some downtown SDMs make more on cosmetics than prescriptions, depends on the area. I assume the profit margin from beauty products are insanely high that it's driving the company forward.

And there are always promotions that promote people to splurge. I mean, buy $50 get $10 in gift cards back, buy $75 get two movie tickets. If you end up buying overpriced products just to get that promotion, you pretty much just paid them extra to give you the money back. If you use points to redeem overpriced things, they're not giving you the full value back in products anyway.

And of course the idiots who just stroll in and buy without looking at the price tag, I've seen a couple of those, so shocked (and happy) when I gave them two movie tickets for spending $80 while waiting for prescriptions to be filled.

It's also big, bright, clean, organized, and being a strong brand name, that plays a role I guess.
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Mar 22, 2007
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They has seniors discounts
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Jul 29, 2005
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Shoppers is such a rip off. I only go there once in a blue moon.
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May 3, 2009
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Wow i actually frequent there all the time! Body wash, toothpaste, shampoo, cream, lotion are cheap
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Jul 29, 2006
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Some people just prefer the smaller store size format compared to that of Walmart and other big box stores
[OP]
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Sep 22, 2009
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Shoppers is small to you? I'm put off by the enormous size of these places, or at least all the ones in Toronto. This combined with the blindingly bright fluorescent lights is enough to make me avoid it. And that's without considering the prices, or the omnipresent chemical smell emanating from the cosmetics aisle.

If it was between Shoppers and Walmart... ugh--honestly I would delay my purchase until I could buy it someplace else, like my local supermarket. As a guy I can't think of a single item at Shoppers that I can't get for way cheaper at my local supermarket. Not sure what the situation is for women though. I've known some women who rank Shoppers as one of their favourite stores.

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