Shopping Discussion

Superstore price variance

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 21st, 2020 4:14 pm
Sep 14, 2020
51 posts
Edmonton, AB

Superstore price variance

I happened to shop at 2 nearby Superstore locations today and I observed some large price differences between the locations.

Orchard run Bartlett Pears: $1.28lb vs. $0.76/lb (40% lower)
Avocado bag: $4.48 vs. $2.94 (35% lower)
Butternut squash: $0.97/lb vs. $0.76/lb (20% lower)
Red Peppers 11lb box: $6.98 vs. $9.98 (30% higher) [they didn't have these for sale yesterday]

I think an angel was watching over me as I was going to buy squash at $0.97/lb but I left it since my order surpassed $20 and I had a spare item, then later I was able to buy it cheaper.

After getting home, I checked prices:

Orchard run Bartlett Pears: N/A
Butternut squash: $0.97/lb
Avocado bag: $5.48
Red Peppers 11lb box: N/A

If you were shopping online, you wouldn't know two of those items even existed and you would think the other 2 were higher priced than they actually were. I am not sure if you'd pay the online price or the lower in-store price upon pick up (maybe someone else knows). Regardless, this is why I could never do the bulk of my shopping online at Superstore.

I will also mention that Superstore prices can change from day to day at any time. Numerous times I've been there two days in a row and an item that was on deep discount the previous day no longer was (and this is not on days where flyers are changing).

Does this only apply to produce? Possibly. I can't say that I've observed price variance (or prices below advertised) on boxed items that I can recall. However, a couple years ago, at my old Superstore location, they often sold meat at deep discounts. For example, I was able to buy PC FF back ribs at $2/lb regularly and once at $2/kg! I have never seen similar discounts on meat at my current 2 locations, unfortunately, and am not sure if they still do it at my former store.

All of this just shows that you really need to know your prices. But this is also why I like shopping at Superstore: there's a good chance of finding a deep discount that's not advertised! Do other stores do this? I haven't seen it at Walmart, but I only shop there infrequently.
7 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 21, 2005
11844 posts
My guess produce price depends on how long the produce was sitting a store. Store wants lower the price to get rid of old stock before they go bad.
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Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3016 posts
I heard some smaller RCSS stores are franchised store so they can set their own prices on some items if they are not in the flyer.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 16, 2004
17970 posts
This model exists at Shoppers Drug Mart, wouldn't surprise me at RCSS as well.
RedFlagDeals Addict
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2017
2297 posts
ml88888888 wrote: I heard some smaller RCSS stores are franchised store so they can set their own prices on some items if they are not in the flyer.
In the west I assume? Here in Ontario all RCSS are corporate owned.
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Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3016 posts
jacnel wrote: In the west I assume? Here in Ontario all RCSS are corporate owned.
yes, I am in the west.
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
1199 posts
I have also noticed this in the produce & meat department. Most of the time, it appears it is indeed related to items that are close to going bad en masse, those that were stored improperly (i.e. bananas left out in the cold), or if there is a massive oversupply. The latter was common during the early COVID period, where everyone was petrified of buying produce, but ordering had not quite adjusted yet.

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Also on the west coast.
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14481 posts
Eastern Ontario
I am a strategic shopper ... have been for years

ALL the info the others have posted here is correct.

Anything that isn’t in the flyer & set by Corporate is fair game for the store manager to manipulate price on
And it’s done to move stock

Which is YES WHY ... we all need to know / track prices
If we truly want the best price on items we are buying
(Everything has a cycle ... and every item has a LOW - MEDIUM - HIGH price range ... as an item, and at each store )

The more aware of this fact
And those numbers
The more you’ll be able to know a good buy when you see one ... and stock up
Ideally ... until the next time the price is LOW (or at least between LOW & MEDIUM )