Shopping Discussion

Local Shoppers Drug Mart banned bags from outside

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  • May 28th, 2020 8:22 am
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Jr. Member
Aug 29, 2017
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Toronto

Local Shoppers Drug Mart banned bags from outside

I went to the local Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto for the first time since one of their staff tested positive for COVID-19 about a month ago.

One thing I noticed is that a security guard at the door asked all shoppers to leave their personal shopping carts and reusable bags at the front before they could come in.

Unsure why they're doing this, as reusable bags will not necessarilly spread the virus any more so than your clothes.

Is this policy store-specific or nation-wide?
40 replies
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May 2, 2013
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if you don't like the policy, then don't shop there
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Jul 12, 2003
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My local Loblaws been doing that since a month ago. You can leave your bag in your car or at the store entrance and pick it up after, but you cannot bring your recycle bag in.

I just follow and leave the recycle bag inside of the car, they are giving us free plastic bags now. I wouldn't complain.
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Dec 20, 2004
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I think most grocery stores are disallowing the use of reusable bags these days.
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Jun 27, 2004
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Yay, free garbage bags. It's like the good old days. :D .
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Apr 10, 2020
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redflagcat wrote: I went to the local Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto for the first time since one of their staff tested positive for COVID-19 about a month ago.

One thing I noticed is that a security guard at the door asked all shoppers to leave their personal shopping carts and reusable bags at the front before they could come in.

Unsure why they're doing this, as reusable bags will not necessarilly spread the virus any more so than your clothes.

Is this policy store-specific or nation-wide?
They are only doing this as a preventable measure. Anything from outside could still bring the virus into the store. I see that as a justifiable reason.

If they are willing to provide plastic bags, I'm all for it. If not, I simply won't be shopping there anymore, especially when I am buying a bunch of items.
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Jan 7, 2007
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My local No Frills does it. The guard at the front door tells everyone not to bring in their bags.
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Nov 26, 2003
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Ottawa
Seems that some stores are enforcing this and others are not. I was at Metro, where others were bringing in bags and they did not have that policy, and at Superstore, they did have the policy, but the cashier was not allowed to bag for you. That one I didn't understand because, they touch the bags when they give them to you, and the touch all the items as they cross them over the scanner. They then have to wait for the customer to bag everything before they can see the next customer, but I thought they might as well put the items in the bags as they scan them, which would speed up the process unless I am missing something here. Anyways, gotta roll with the punches at this time.
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Sep 26, 2011
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Every store seems to does things differently, suggesting that there's no hard corporate policy. My local Food Basics did this when one of their staff tested positive at the beginning of April. Same control optics: security guard at door forcing everybody with reusable bags to leave them at the door. After two weeks, they seemed to be less micromanaging, but they still give away free plastic bags, so everybody prefers that. Funny, my local Sobeys has been the most careful of all grocery stores, even employing greeters to make sure everyone entering the store knows the current shopping "rules", but they don't stop anyone from bringing in their own bags, and keep charging for their paper bags.
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Jan 7, 2002
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boofi wrote: Seems that some stores are enforcing this and others are not... at Superstore, they did have the policy, but the cashier was not allowed to bag for you.
And at other Superstores you can bring your own bags into the store but the cashier won't even let you put them on the conveyor belt as you bag merchandise yourself. I got yelled at for doing that. They wipe down the area after every customer regardless so I'm not quite sure what the issue is.
Anyways, gotta roll with the punches at this time.
Agreed. Not every store manager has a doctorate in infectious diseases or even has one on speed dial ;)
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If you are not allowed to bring in your bags, do they provide free plastic bags?
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headleygrange wrote: If you are not allowed to bring in your bags, do they provide free plastic bags?
Yes they do. Even at places like no frills who never offered free bags in the first place. I’ve been stocking up on them before they get banned some day.
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wysiwyg wrote: Yes they do. Even at places like no frills who never offered free bags in the first place. I’ve been stocking up on them before they get banned some day.
Ditto. I now use self checkout because it's so much faster than queuing up for a cashier. Every item goes into a separate bag. Wouldn't want two items to contaminate each other ;)

Grocery stores have inflated their prices due to C-19. I'm determined to get as much of my money's worth in free bags as I can :twisted:
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Feb 3, 2019
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canaduh wrote: Same control optics:
This! A lof the practises being done at stores are just for optics. Banning reusable bags that I have obviously touched is silly as I am still allowed in the store and can touch and "contaminate" every item I touch. Not wanting to bag items into reusable bags is also just for optics as the cashier just touched every single item I picked up/touched from the grocery store but yet where we draw the line is touching reusable bags?

I see a lot of these things happening at grocery stores. Like wiping down the front conveyor belt after ringing up each customer. Yet the cashier still uses the same gloves to handle both my groceries and the person before/after me. And the back conveyor belt isn't wiped down at all...apparently, the virus doesn't get there? Or wiping down grocery cart handles once you have already found one and bring it into the store....you have already touched the handles and "contaminated" your hands. Wiping down the handle at this point is just for show. Or the standing 2m apart in line, yet that only seems to apply directly behind and in front of you yet, when lines "snake", you are standing closer than 2m from the person to the left and right of you.

The intention of the stores isn't in the wrong place, but a lot of the practises being done are not actually helping to minimize contact contamination but are they to make people feel better about their shopping experience. A lot more of these behaviours were seen early on in COVID due to peoples fears and people wanting to see changes. I'm glad stores are starting to put more practical practises into place instead of practises that have come out of fear.
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redflagcat wrote: I went to the local Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto for the first time since one of their staff tested positive for COVID-19 about a month ago.

One thing I noticed is that a security guard at the door asked all shoppers to leave their personal shopping carts and reusable bags at the front before they could come in.

Unsure why they're doing this, as reusable bags will not necessarilly spread the virus any more so than your clothes.

Is this policy store-specific or nation-wide?
It's worker safety. The employee using a fresh plastic bag vs your cloth bag which has been in contact with many things
Usually these stores give free plastic ones and a good time to stock up
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Sep 26, 2011
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wysiwyg wrote: Yes they do. Even at places like no frills who never offered free bags in the first place. I’ve been stocking up on them before they get banned some day.
I find the yellow No Frills bags are the cheapest/worst quality, most likely to rip. The grey Food Basics bags are the strongest and largest bags.
Depending on where you shop, I find it amusing how the self-checkout machines still ask you how many bags you used, even if they're "temporarily" free. Maybe I should start toying with them and try entering "999" or some other grotesquely large number... Winking Face
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pialshgiml87 wrote: This! A lof the practises being done at stores are just for optics.
No system is perfect. They're doing the best they can. "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."

Consider a similar issue. We're told to wash our hands after using a bathroom/restroom. But after you do that, the moment you touch the door you get contaminated by everyone who didn't. Now think about what you do before you wash your hands. You zip up your pants (urinal) or put on your pants/belt, etc. (toilet) using your dirty hands. Now every time afterwards when you touch those items you recontaminate yourself. Still, this is better than not washing your hands at all.

Similarly with C-19, we'll never kill 100% of the virus particles 100% of the time. The best we can do is reduce the number of particles that we come into contact with. Even an N95 mask, which is what health care workers use when treating infected patients, filters out only ~95% of virus particles. That's what the 95 in N95 means. So even with N95 masks, HCWs are still potentially exposed to inhaling 5% of the virus as they would be if they didn't use any mask.
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Jan 28, 2014
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I find that in Toronto the best and strongest bags are from Longos. Next, I prefer the brown bags at Sobeys or I buy their 25 cent reusable green bags that I can keep for future use. I like the brown bags when I am carrying something that will not melt or leak because I can carry the bag in my left arm.

These days I go wherever the line-up is shortest. I have found the longest lines to be at the Loblaws stores. You also have to account for the time you have to wait outside, plus the time you have to wait to pay. The payment line was at one time throughout the store. I guess it is fortunate that while I do have an Optimum account, I rarely get offers for things I actually buy.
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Nov 3, 2007
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Masks which prevent spittle from floating around are not mandatory, but god forbid you bring your own grocery bag.

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