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Working at Shoppers Drug Mart

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  • Sep 28th, 2011 7:01 pm
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Sr. Member
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Jul 28, 2008
656 posts
35 upvotes
GTA

Working at Shoppers Drug Mart

I'm considering getting a part time job (already working full time), and SDM would be so convenient because it's right next to my building. I have a few questions for current/ past employees:

1. How much is employee discount, and what are exceptions? :) Can you use it at any location, or just your store?
2. How flexible is scheduling? Do you need to work at least one day every weekend, a certain number of hours/shift every week, etc. What about 24 hour stores, do you need to be available at night?
3. Do associates in cosmetics need formal prior training? (it doesn't seem like they have any)
4. Starting pay?
5. Anything else I should know?

thanks :)
10 replies
Deal Addict
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Jul 30, 2005
2789 posts
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Hamilton
my sister works at SDM so I can only answer #1 for you. They get 30% off regular priced items. With items on sale, they get whatever is the best price (either the sale price, or the reg price minus 30%). They get a card that lets them get the discount at any location.
Newbie
Jun 14, 2008
16 posts
4 upvotes
Ontario
1. The discount is as has already been mentioned. It's linked to the optimum card.
2. Scheduling depends on the store - some are flexible, others aren't. PT staff though are typically expected to be available nights/weekends and usually more than once a week (there are some staff that might work once a week, but usually it's because they've been there awhile and started out with more availability). I don't know about 24 hours stores, mine wasn't one.
3. I don't think formal training is required.
4. Don't expect much for starting pay. There was (is?) a pay scale, but with wage freezes and the increase in min wage I'm not sure if it still applies.
5. Don't do it? lol
Sr. Member
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Aug 1, 2005
793 posts
62 upvotes
It's been a few years since I worked there, so much of this may have changed.


1. How much is employee discount, and what are exceptions? Can you use it at any location, or just your store?

The discount was 30% off the current selling price, never to go below the cost of that item, or the current sale price (whichever is lower). Some items like magazines and Carlton Cards were exempt, and no discount applied.
You show your Optimum Card and photo ID and can use the discount at any store; you also collect regular points, but cannot use your discount and bonus points (ie spend $75 get 20x points).

2. How flexible is scheduling? Do you need to work at least one day every weekend, a certain number of hours/shift every week, etc. What about 24 hour stores, do you need to be available at night?

100% depends on the manager of that location, and what they currently need. They will specifically ask you about this on the application; so there will be no surprise "You must work from midnight to 8am" shifts unless you checked off you were available to do so. I wouldn't expect a store to hire a new employee available for fewer than 3 shifts/week.

3. Do associates in cosmetics need formal prior training? (it doesn't seem like they have any)

Believe it or not, Shoppers has one of the most thorough training programs for Beauty Advisors in retail. Whether or not it is enforced by the Cosmetics Manager is another story. Cosmetic education/experience is an asset, but not always required.

4. Starting pay?

Minimum wage. Cosmeticians also make commission, but some stores pool the commission and split it across all the BA's.

5. Anything else I should know?

The staff attitude will tell you how the store is managed and run. Are the employees in the store friendly, helpful, and general happy - or are they all disinterested in customers and miserable? Like littlealbatross mentioned, this isn't a happy environment to work in.
Member
Apr 21, 2009
308 posts
8 upvotes
HoleyMoley wrote:
Dec 24th, 2009 12:00 pm
It's been a few years since I worked there, so much of this may have changed.


1. How much is employee discount, and what are exceptions? Can you use it at any location, or just your store?

The discount was 30% off the current selling price, never to go below the cost of that item, or the current sale price (whichever is lower). Some items like magazines and Carlton Cards were exempt, and no discount applied.
You show your Optimum Card and photo ID and can use the discount at any store; you also collect regular points, but cannot use your discount and bonus points (ie spend $75 get 20x points).

2. How flexible is scheduling? Do you need to work at least one day every weekend, a certain number of hours/shift every week, etc. What about 24 hour stores, do you need to be available at night?

100% depends on the manager of that location, and what they currently need. They will specifically ask you about this on the application; so there will be no surprise "You must work from midnight to 8am" shifts unless you checked off you were available to do so. I wouldn't expect a store to hire a new employee available for fewer than 3 shifts/week.

3. Do associates in cosmetics need formal prior training? (it doesn't seem like they have any)

Believe it or not, Shoppers has one of the most thorough training programs for Beauty Advisors in retail. Whether or not it is enforced by the Cosmetics Manager is another story. Cosmetic education/experience is an asset, but not always required.

4. Starting pay?

Minimum wage. Cosmeticians also make commission, but some stores pool the commission and split it across all the BA's.

5. Anything else I should know?

The staff attitude will tell you how the store is managed and run. Are the employees in the store friendly, helpful, and general happy - or are they all disinterested in customers and miserable? Like littlealbatross mentioned, this isn't a happy environment to work in.
+1. My mom's a pharmacist and she owns 2 SDMs. All the info HoleyMoley is recent and pretty accurate. The employee discount does have some exceptions, as laid out. Add the usual gift cards, transit tickets, lottery, prescriptions and phone cards to the list of exclusions.

And yes, the pay is minimum wage. They only real bonus to the pay is the employee discount. One of my neighbour's daughters works at an SDM in our neighbourhood and says the only real thing keeping her there is the discount. Otherwise she says, she'd just go work at Dollarama like her sister does. The pay's the same, they get the same amount of raises after the same time periods and the work she says is way more at SDM than Dollarama.
Deal Addict
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Dec 10, 2008
3142 posts
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St. John's
My GF is a pharmacist at SDM...the 30% discount is basically useless. Almost everything at SDM is cheaper at Wal-Mart or Loblaws, even after the 30% discount.
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Jul 9, 2008
407 posts
29 upvotes
Toronto
I'm trying to help a friend get into shoppers. For anyone that knows,

1. When you get in as p/t merchandiser and do a good job, is it easy to get promoted to f/t status? postal clerk? eventually store supervisor?

2. How much does a merchandiser/cashier get paid? How about supervisor (not manager)

3. What are the working hours like when you first start as a rookie ?? example is it 6 to 10 pm? How many hours can a p/t get in a week?

4. Is applying through the career section shoppers website the easiest way to get in?

Thanks in advance
Newbie
Sep 4, 2007
18 posts
2 upvotes
Markham
rocketdan9 wrote:
Sep 27th, 2011 8:09 am
I'm trying to help a friend get into shoppers. For anyone that knows,

1. When you get in as p/t merchandiser and do a good job, is it easy to get promoted to f/t status? postal clerk? eventually store supervisor?

2. How much does a merchandiser/cashier get paid? How about supervisor (not manager)

3. What are the working hours like when you first start as a rookie ?? example is it 6 to 10 pm? How many hours can a p/t get in a week?

4. Is applying through the career section shoppers website the easiest way to get in?

Thanks in advance

1. Not sure about other stores, but the ones I've worked at, easiest way to get a supervisor position is through cashier position.

2. Min wage I believe, don't know if they changed that now. I don't remember how much more supervisors get paid, shoppers doesn't pay too well, probably at most $1 or $2 more depending on the size of the store?

3. Again, it depends on the stores, I've had new merchandisers work full 8 hour days, but with cut backs, usually end up having 5 hour shifts. Managers will usually accommodate students and will work with them according to their schedule. I know I'm not really answering your question but it depends on the individual managers at the store.

4. Best way is to just show up to a store and ask

I don't work at shoppers anymore, but to be honest, in terms of retail jobs, I think I've had a relatively great time working for them, maybe I'm just lucky that I got really good managers during my stay.
Newbie
Jun 14, 2008
16 posts
4 upvotes
Ontario
rocketdan9 wrote:
Sep 27th, 2011 8:09 am
I'm trying to help a friend get into shoppers. For anyone that knows,

1. When you get in as p/t merchandiser and do a good job, is it easy to get promoted to f/t status? postal clerk? eventually store supervisor?

2. How much does a merchandiser/cashier get paid? How about supervisor (not manager)

3. What are the working hours like when you first start as a rookie ?? example is it 6 to 10 pm? How many hours can a p/t get in a week?

4. Is applying through the career section shoppers website the easiest way to get in?

Thanks in advance

Pretty much everything Sobos said, but I'll give your q's a go as well :)

1. Once you're in, it can be easier to move into other positions but it all depends on openings/store needs etc. Supervisors are typically promoted from the cashier staff since you basically need to know cashier functions inside and out. To be honest though, everyone I ever saw switch jobs was trying to get away from 'front store.' I knew several supervisors who moved to merchandising/boutique/post office.

2. Close to, if not, minimum wage. Supervisors don't make much more than cashiers.

3. Depends on the store. At my store, newbies had the same shifts as everyone else (typically 4-12, 6-10 or 5-9 for evenings). I think p/t maxed out at 28hrs/week.

4. They didn't have the career website set up when I was there, but the best bet was to go in when management was in and see if you can speak to them.

Just my 2cents. It's been awhile since I worked there, and things change. And stores can vary (a lot!). I loved being a supervisor, but it can also be a rough job (you're basically responsible for fixing anything and everything that can go wrong) and it's not for everyone.
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