Shopping Discussion

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 19th, 2018 7:07 pm
Apr 22, 2010
418 posts
The cheap milk and tissue boxes get people in. Then, like anyone else, you start browsing and find stuff. They have good deals on various things every week, like toothpaste, soft drinks, bread etc. And any store where you spend lots of cash, that has a loyalty program, will be popular with customers.
Feb 9, 2012
6 posts
DaVibe wrote:
Feb 12th, 2012 4:35 am
You guys should see my bill at Shoppers.
It's filled with items that are on sale or have a standard price across various stores.

And by sale, I don't mean 50 cents off so I'm buying it. I mean the BEST price for ANY store over the past 3 months. I wait and I wait and I wait and then I buy it at Shoppers. If Wal-Mart had it, I'd go there. If Food Basics had it, I'd go there.
I don't have a hate on for Shoppers so I'm willing to go through their flyer and find things that are good for me.

Everyone shops differently. I pretty much buy things that are on sale only, because I can at this point in my life (feeding 1, not 5). Shoppers has a lot of sales.

P.S. There are select items that are regularly cheaper at SDM than other stores, such as facial tissues, bathroom tissue (sale), ice cream (sale), milk, butter, eggs, bread, etc ... I catch those regularly.

Pretty sure my dad keeps the Shoppers near his house in business by himself. He checks the flyers, waits for points events and then spends hundreds. His basement looks like a mini Shoppers :)
Apr 14, 2010
405 posts
ur_funneh wrote:
Feb 12th, 2012 1:42 am
I don't understand with those who post with "butter is cheaper"?

So what, you're going to do all your shopping at Walmart but just drop in at Shoppers for the Butter? Doesnt make any sense to me. The "few" items you see at lower prices doesn't justify the incentive to go shop there, if that were the case then every time I do my shopping I would have to split my 30 item grocery list between 6 different stores!

Not everyone lives near a Walmart!

There are four different SDM's that are closer to my house than a grocery store. And I don't live anywhere near one of the "cheaper" grocery stores, such as No Frills. I do a lot of shopping at SDM, and I think I get great deals there. They do have good sales, and when something is on sale & you get 20X points, I stock up. I never pay full price there, unless it is for butter, eggs, or milk - and the full price for these items is still way below what you will pay in any supermarket in downtown Toronto.
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Dec 31, 2005
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FunSave22 wrote:
Feb 12th, 2012 9:51 am
Many provincial governments are cutting the maximum prices allowable on generic drugs and preventing manufactures from giving the pharmacies kickbacks on generic drugs.

This is going to hurt the bottom line of all pharmacies, but there is good reason to believe that the larger chains are going to be able to survive better than the smaller independent stores. The items other than prescription drugs is a quite sizeable portion of total income for the larger stores.

Smaller independent stores tend to rely more on the income from dispensing fees and kickbacks, than they do on the other items in the store. If the kickbacks are eliminated or severely curtailed they may have a lot of trouble surviving.

This is the reason many are looking to alternate revenue streams....clinics, A1C/Microalbumin testing for diabetes care, etc....

Same is true in the US where Walmart just went through a major tender process for such pharmacy based testing and CVS signed a deal with axis-shield for diabetes testing.
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Jul 29, 2005
7278 posts
Even Loblaws is cheaper than SDM. What I can buy at regular price at Loblaws, I would have to wait for a sale at SDM. And even still, their sale prices are still higher than the grocery store.

Most of the time I'll walk into SDM intending to buy some shampoo or moisturizer. I take a look at the price and think to myself -. God, thats so over priced. I'm not in that much of an urgent need for these Items. So I place them back on the shelf and wait til I can get to loblaws.
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
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Dec 12, 2009
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Who pays full price at SDM? Their lost leaders offer great value.
Jun 8, 2010
336 posts
Shoppers overall has a much better shopping experience for me than going to Walmart or other cheaper places. People have money to spend and don't necessary think to penny pinch on pharmaceutical items perhaps? For me there is a SDM close by, I get to park close to the entrance, it is not crowded inside, it is clean and organized etc.
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Dec 31, 2005
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leolo wrote:
Feb 12th, 2012 11:10 am
Shoppers overall has a much better shopping experience for me than going to Walmart or other cheaper places. People have money to spend and don't necessary think to penny pinch on pharmaceutical items perhaps? For me there is a SDM close by, I get to park close to the entrance, it is not crowded inside, it is clean and organized etc.

Exactly. Far more pleasant experience, and really most items are not urgent care, so we just buy at one of the countless sales. Add walking distance and there is no reason or me to drive to Walmart.

For actual drugs, cost doesn't matter as it is covered through my plan.
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Aug 5, 2009
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Only place I can get Biotene toothpaste, which I have to use to avoid a mouthful of canker sores.
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Jun 25, 2004
3716 posts
Pickering, ON
Pop, tissues, milk, Christie cookies and crackers, Old Spice... when on sale.

I stock up, and don't go back for months.
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Aug 30, 2011
1176 posts
I go there for the post office. I think most Canadians' local post offices are located in a SDM. There prices are either a hit or miss. Cheaper than other stores or a lot more expensive than other stores. Even milk, they can be ridiculously expensive.
Sr. Member
Nov 26, 2011
916 posts
and this was in the news two days ago
[QUOTE]Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. gave a rosy outlook and raised its dividend Thursday after reporting strong sales of non-pharmacy items as the retailer works to reduce its reliance on prescription sales.

Canada’s largest drug store chain said Thursday it is raising its dividend by six per cent, from 25 cents per quarter to 26.5 cents. It also said it expects sales to increase between 2.5 and three per cent in 2012.

The announcements came as it said fourth quarter profit grew 4.2 per cent to $176 million from $169 million during the same quarter a year earlier. Sales increased 4.3 per cent to $2.6 billion.

Excluding the impact of a $7-million tax impairment, the company earned $175 million, or 80 cents per share.

For the full year, earnings rose nearly four per cent to $614 million from $592 million in 2010.

Front-of-store sales — which were particularly strong in the beauty, candy and convenient food categories — jumped 5.5 per cent to $1.4 billion during the fourth quarter, while pharmacy sales grew 2.8 per cent to $1.7 billion.[/QUOTE] ... th-quarter
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Mar 11, 2006
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I used to shop at SDM a lot for their loss leader promotions and bonus points' promotions. They were often great. Not so much any more though.

Like others have stated though, it is always convenient for an urgent bag of milk or eggs or bread. Typically have them at good prices.
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Feb 10, 2009
655 posts
rageking wrote:
Feb 11th, 2012 11:45 pm
Their client base mostly are not aware of, or do not care about the inflated prices. Shoppers is very deceitful because some items are priced ok, while others are 30%-50% higher than supermarkets. The trick is that they mix in decent priced items with crazy priced items so that unless you specificially know which item is priced at say Walmart, you are going to buy everything at Shoppers.

You think SDM is the only company in the world that does this? Walmart does this for goodness sakes! Roll down prices to bring people in, then they sell their own store brand crap that you just cannot compare to another store as the brand name is different. I can buy better curtains for much less elsewhere, thank you very much. It doesn't stop at curtains. I can buy much better for much cheaper on almost anything Walmart has available.

I shop at SDM all the time. I pop in for snacks as I work near one. I buy whatever snack in on sale. I buy all my prescriptions there as I have an amazing drug plan and don't really care about the dispensing fee. It has gotten to the point that the pharmacists know and recognize me and we exchange pleasantries. The only time in my life I did not purchase my scripts at SDM was when the 3 dollar difference in dispensing fee really did make a difference (I was unemployed).

There are several things I buy at SDM that I can't buy anywhere else. I have sensitive skin and have to use certain products. I can't just go to the supermarket and buy what's on sale. The things I don't have to worry about with my skin, I buy what's on sale at SDM and yeah, it IS cheaper than regular price elsewhere.

Their hours of operation are convenient for me. I often work until 9 or 10pm and SDM is the only think open at that point. Convenience is huge for me. The parking lots are small, the stores are smaller than grocery stores and Walmart, almost no line ups, etc.

And the points. When I lived out west, drug stores sold cigarettes and you got points on the full price of prescriptions. So I would accrue tons of points and buy cigarettes. Now in Ontario, accruing points is slower, but I was creative enough with getting my points I was able to buy a 3ds when it came out almost entirely with points.

Maybe I do spend more per year at SDM than I would if I ran around to other stores buying the same things. Quite frankly, I'll take it. There is also something to be said about supporting a Canadian company (unless I'm wrong on this one. Anyone know?)
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Dec 27, 2007
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