Shopping Discussion

Does Anyone See The Point of FreshCo?

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  • Jan 23rd, 2022 4:13 am
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Deal Addict
Sep 13, 2007
4681 posts
5989 upvotes
GTA
The point of FreshCo, according to Freshco:
“We like to speak about our fresh foods. We try to give you fresh foods at a comparable quality to what you would see at a full serve store at discount prices,” he said. “That’s one of the big things we stand behind. It’s also one of our guarantees. One of the guarantees is if you find any fresh item in a store that is not to your satisfaction we not only would replace the product but we would also replace your money. We market it as a fresh guarantee just to give you confidence hopefully that when you shop in our stores you should feel comfortable about the quality we’re selling.

“The other thing too around us being a discounter is we give a raincheck guarantee that if something in our flyer is not there, we made a mistake, or it sold faster than we thought, we give rain checks and we add 10 percent of the value just for an inconvenience factor and we have a price match guarantee. Anything in the flyer of a competitor if you bring that to us either on your phone or a paper, we’ll match that and we’ll beat it by a penny
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 6, 2013
844 posts
1208 upvotes
TO / Van
When I lived in Vancouver, I never knew a single person that intentionally shopped at Safeway if they had the choice (i.e., owned a car). I’m surprised anyone would mourn its loss. Here in Toronto, I feel the same way about Sobeys. I would much rather go to a Loblaws or Longos. I’m way more likely to go to a FreshCo than a Sobeys, tbh.
Deal Addict
Mar 26, 2005
2619 posts
3627 upvotes
St Clements, MB
I'm in Winnipeg. I intentionally shopped at Safeway regularly prior to its purchase by Sobeys. I loved their Club Card and Extreme Specials. I didn't exclusively shop there, occasionally going to the much closer Extra Foods too.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2019
741 posts
960 upvotes
Oilers Country
Just had another new FreshCo (Safeway conversion) open close to my workplace. Stopped to check it out last night. There were a few specials that caught my eye--and some, like 88 cents for a package of Heinz Bagel Bites, were sensational. However, I wasn't blown away by the regular prices. I was in the market for toothpaste: there was absolutely nothing happening in the section (no deals at all). I ended up paying less for Colgate today at one of the remaining Safeways.

Another issue is the insane store layout: in one aisle oral care is next to cat food and across from dog food, which in turn is next to baby care. I don't know, are they planning product tie-ins between baby diapers and puppy pads?

I actually had a colleague complain to me that now that her local Safeway has been converted, she can't do all her shopping at that store (FreshCo) anymore--she has to go to Save-on-Foods as well. Hilariously, when I was in FreshCo last night I was passing by the pharmacy and an elderly lady was talking very loudly to the druggist--making the exact same complaint: "Why did you take out the bakery, deli and meat department? Now I have to go elsewhere for those services!"

Methinks these conversions are going to backfire on Sobeys.
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
4538 posts
1092 upvotes
Richmond
bylo wrote: That "principle" also applies in the opposite direction. Crappy Tyre bought a chain of tire stores in Texas in the 1980s and tried to CTCize them. That didn't work out well for them. Texans buy tires at tire stores, not housewares and other non-automotive stuff.

Timmies tried to invade the US. There are still some in a few border states south and west of ON but the dream of nationwide expansion turned into a nightmare.
Dunno about that. When Target invaded Canada, Loblaws basically threw two different clothing brands at the US and Primark succeeded. Primark is old navy style pricing imo.
If you think about it, at the same time Target was invading Loblaws was doing a counterstrike back at Target on their turf from two different clothing brands. And Primark is still in the USA.

At least timmies learned from their mistakes. Target didn't.
Deal Guru
Nov 15, 2008
12390 posts
7522 upvotes
The point of my Freshco is South Asian foods, both frozen prepared & all the ingredients you need to make you own. They are the only chain grocer here that has fresh curry leaves & asafetida. (Walmart tried but Freshco got the business.) They have a couple of good international aisles too aside from the South Asian stuff.

They have a very restricted collection of Canadian foods, just the top selling varieties & flavours of the top brands.

(Not a Chalo! Freshco.)

I go for pantry basics, European foods, South Asian foods, Middle Eastern foods. I always have to go to another store to fill in but they carry a lot of imported stuff that is not available in other stores here.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2017
3063 posts
2908 upvotes
Guelph
TravellingChris wrote: Just had another new FreshCo (Safeway conversion) open close to my workplace. Stopped to check it out last night. There were a few specials that caught my eye--and some, like 88 cents for a package of Heinz Bagel Bites, were sensational. However, I wasn't blown away by the regular prices. I was in the market for toothpaste: there was absolutely nothing happening in the section (no deals at all). I ended up paying less for Colgate today at one of the remaining Safeways.

Another issue is the insane store layout: in one aisle oral care is next to cat food and across from dog food, which in turn is next to baby care. I don't know, are they planning product tie-ins between baby diapers and puppy pads?

I actually had a colleague complain to me that now that her local Safeway has been converted, she can't do all her shopping at that store (FreshCo) anymore--she has to go to Save-on-Foods as well. Hilariously, when I was in FreshCo last night I was passing by the pharmacy and an elderly lady was talking very loudly to the druggist--making the exact same complaint: "Why did you take out the bakery, deli and meat department? Now I have to go elsewhere for those services!"

Methinks these conversions are going to backfire on Sobeys.
Honestly, the entire acquisition of Safeway by Sobeys has been a ****. First they buy Safeway, then they try to bring in "synergies" to save money which is just a fancy way of saying "let's force our way of doing things on an already profitable business," customers leave because of your changes. After that they decide to just abandon the entire thing altogether and convert a lot of Safeway locations to FreshCo, oh and a bunch of union busting to boot.

Safeway would have been better off being acquired by Metro, at least when they acquired A&P here in Ontario they realized that each brand has its own niche and the worst thing you can do it force your way of doing things onto your acquisition. As such, A&P, later Metro Ontario, was allowed to do their own thing separate from the Quebec division and now Metro is a big player in the grocery market (and has an excellent share price to boot). In fact Metro Ontario and Quebec still operate differently, the Ontario side has Air Miles while Quebec does their own thing. Had Empire done this when they bought Safeway maybe they wouldn't be in this mess.

IMO, Empire is probably the poorest run grocer in Canada. Their competitors Metro and Loblaw know what they're doing and acquire companies that make fiscal and operational sense. Empire on the other hand just swallows up anything they can touch, no matter the logic (or faulty logic) behind such a purchase. First they wanted A&P Canada (which they lost to Metro), then they bought Safeway, then Farm Boy, and now Longo's. They seem addicted to growth at all costs and are making so many missteps because of it. I hold a few Empire shares, and while my Metro and Loblaw shares have skyrocketed, Empire has been floundering.

To think they could have probably been a very successful company had they just bought Safeway and allowed the people in the company to run the western division on their own. When the Ontarians came in they started burning everything.
Deal Addict
Aug 11, 2014
1094 posts
1324 upvotes
jacnel wrote: Honestly, the entire acquisition of Safeway by Sobeys has been a ****. First they buy Safeway, then they try to bring in "synergies" to save money which is just a fancy way of saying "let's force our way of doing things on an already profitable business," customers leave because of your changes. After that they decide to just abandon the entire thing altogether and convert a lot of Safeway locations to FreshCo, oh and a bunch of union busting to boot.

Safeway would have been better off being acquired by Metro, at least when they acquired A&P here in Ontario they realized that each brand has its own niche and the worst thing you can do it force your way of doing things onto your acquisition. As such, A&P, later Metro Ontario, was allowed to do their own thing separate from the Quebec division and now Metro is a big player in the grocery market (and has an excellent share price to boot). In fact Metro Ontario and Quebec still operate differently, the Ontario side has Air Miles while Quebec does their own thing. Had Empire done this when they bought Safeway maybe they wouldn't be in this mess.

IMO, Empire is probably the poorest run grocer in Canada. Their competitors Metro and Loblaw know what they're doing and acquire companies that make fiscal and operational sense. Empire on the other hand just swallows up anything they can touch, no matter the logic (or faulty logic) behind such a purchase. First they wanted A&P Canada (which they lost to Metro), then they bought Safeway, then Farm Boy, and now Longo's. They seem addicted to growth at all costs and are making so many missteps because of it. I hold a few Empire shares, and while my Metro and Loblaw shares have skyrocketed, Empire has been floundering.

To think they could have probably been a very successful company had they just bought Safeway and allowed the people in the company to run the western division on their own. When the Ontarians came in they started burning everything.
What would you say is a similar grocery retailer as Metro in Western Canada? Or is Metro unique enough that there's no equivalent in the west.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2007
4496 posts
3402 upvotes
Edmonton
Love the store. One just recently opened in my area. They had a deal this past week where you get a free pack of bacon for the first two hundred customers (no conditions) per day. Barely a handful of people there in line each day. The wife and I each got a pack a day so a total of 14 packs of Schneiders bacon over the past week.
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Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2011
3465 posts
3974 upvotes
GVRD
I like that Safeway exists, but I'll like even more when they change to FreshCo. When I search for some products on flipp, the cheapest price often comes up at FreshCo. Will I miss Safeway's Bakery or AirMiles? Absolutely not as I didn't use either one of them. Right now, I don't have a FreshCo nearby, but I do have a Safeway. I'd be delighted if they switched to FreshCo. (Just one person's opinion.)
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2013
4538 posts
1092 upvotes
Richmond
jacnel wrote: Honestly, the entire acquisition of Safeway by Sobeys has been a ****. First they buy Safeway, then they try to bring in "synergies" to save money which is just a fancy way of saying "let's force our way of doing things on an already profitable business," customers leave because of your changes. After that they decide to just abandon the entire thing altogether and convert a lot of Safeway locations to FreshCo, oh and a bunch of union busting to boot.

Safeway would have been better off being acquired by Metro, at least when they acquired A&P here in Ontario they realized that each brand has its own niche and the worst thing you can do it force your way of doing things onto your acquisition. As such, A&P, later Metro Ontario, was allowed to do their own thing separate from the Quebec division and now Metro is a big player in the grocery market (and has an excellent share price to boot). In fact Metro Ontario and Quebec still operate differently, the Ontario side has Air Miles while Quebec does their own thing. Had Empire done this when they bought Safeway maybe they wouldn't be in this mess.

IMO, Empire is probably the poorest run grocer in Canada. Their competitors Metro and Loblaw know what they're doing and acquire companies that make fiscal and operational sense. Empire on the other hand just swallows up anything they can touch, no matter the logic (or faulty logic) behind such a purchase. First they wanted A&P Canada (which they lost to Metro), then they bought Safeway, then Farm Boy, and now Longo's. They seem addicted to growth at all costs and are making so many missteps because of it. I hold a few Empire shares, and while my Metro and Loblaw shares have skyrocketed, Empire has been floundering.

To think they could have probably been a very successful company had they just bought Safeway and allowed the people in the company to run the western division on their own. When the Ontarians came in they started burning everything.
They pulled a Target?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Oct 5, 2008
17006 posts
12407 upvotes
Toronto
starchoice wrote: Love the store. One just recently opened in my area. They had a deal this past week where you get a free pack of bacon for the first two hundred customers (no conditions) per day. Barely a handful of people there in line each day. The wife and I each got a pack a day so a total of 14 packs of Schneiders bacon over the past week.
You and your wife went to the grocery store together 7 days in a row for free bacon?

You must have a lot of free time

No doubt that’s “essential” outings during a pandemic.

:rolleyes:
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 13, 2007
4496 posts
3402 upvotes
Edmonton
Swerny wrote: You and your wife went to the grocery store together 7 days in a row for free bacon?

You must have a lot of free time

No doubt that’s “essential” outings during a pandemic.

:rolleyes:
No different than everyone stopping at Tim’s for a morning coffee.

…and when did groceries not become “essential”?
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
772 posts
369 upvotes
Superstore is still one of the best. It has an inhouse optical store and Joe Fresh. No other grocery store can boast that.... except Walmart. In some Superstores, you have a medical clinic, barber and insurance broker.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 13, 2015
3313 posts
4376 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Going to be honest with you, I've never been to a Freshco in my life. Not that i'm against it, but because it's like 7km away from me and not worth it. There is a walmart, no frills etc.. closer to me. I guess for most people it just comes down to price/convienance.
😎Thanks RFD😎

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