Shopping Discussion

Walmart Ad Match ending October 15, 2020

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 6th, 2020 9:58 pm
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
18587 posts
6625 upvotes
Toronto
Delays at the checkout because they have only 3 checkouts open to begin with. Open all checkouts.
Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2015
580 posts
174 upvotes
Tsuu T'Ina, AB
lecale wrote: What you are saying was once true and real and I am not sure what it is like right now because I haven't been hitting the No Frills much these days. (I would go more but it is in an awkward location. Great store, creditable produce.)

The issue was come Thursday a scattered few promotional prices would not be activated when the clock hit midnight. For me it was produce too. They would catch the issues as the week progressed but if you hit them up on Thursday you were more likely to encounter situations where the sale prices were not activated yet. Unfortunately if you are shopping Thursday it usually means you are one of the people who really cares about best deals and prices. My No Frills knew the odd price didn't update correctly and were easy to deal with. They need to report the error back to Loblaw and Loblaw would fix it for everyone via SAP. While No Frills was waiting for the fix, they would deal with customers affected on a case by case basis.

Loblaw has an ERP system called SAP and that includes a database with product names, UPC numbers, inventory information, regular store prices, plus business logic, e.g., "put this on sale for $1.99 for 7 days starting Thursday, maximum 4 per customer and it's $2.49 if you want more than that." The business logic is the rules of engagement with the customer.

If you are at zehrs.ca all the product info you see there is from SAP. Same with nofrills.ca. Same with shoppersdrugmart.ca. They are all pulling data and rules from this monster SAP system.

When you use the PCO app, it is pulling information from SAP.

When you use the cashier or self checkout, the tills are pulling information from SAP.

Some stores have fancy new shelf labels that communicate wirelessly ... they display the current price, they pull that information from from SAP.

Loblaw is pretty darned good at pricing accuracy in general because they won with SAP. It is very, very, very complicated to set up SAP and get it to run. It takes years. People joke that SAP stands for "Stop All Production" because if you can't get SAP to run right for your company it will totally cripple the business. Target came to Canada, tried to set up SAP on a rush schedule, totally and abysmally failed. People have all sorts of complicated explanations for why Target Canada failed but it's simple math, Failure = Hubris + SAP. Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Target Canada was way too overconfident on the SAP thing. Empire (Sobeys) eventually implemented SAP but things did not go smoothly. A quick Google on these guys and SAP and you get keywords back like "screwed up," "plagued," and "meltdown." They just gave up at one point but they got back at it and tried again. Empire has SAP running now but Loblaws is the straight A student and Empire is a C average.

When something goes wrong it is a bug and customers are essentially submitting bug reports when they complain. Customer service fixes up the customer, but in the ideal world bugs go to the IT team who will fix them. Loblaws has SAP running robustly and if you find an issue their guys are right on it, patching things up. Then you have companies like Empire and Walmart that won't act on bugs you find because their IT guys are focused on the many other issues in their craptacular SAP implementations. It's like, "thanks for letting us know, we will put it on our list and handle it within a year." No, that's a lie, they don't thank you, you have to write satirical reviews on walmart.ca to explain the general f***ery around a given product but at least they approve your review. If you find a juicy bug at Walmart I assure you there is no channel that will listen but "submit a review" is like open mike night at the comedy club. You should go.

Now we are at a point where Walmart and Empire still make big stupid boners, while a bug with Loblaws generally involves a lot of algebra, like, "listen you bastards I have 200 pts per $1 on the product, 2,000 per $10 on the category, I bought 5 for $1.99 each and the rounding rules say $9.95 counts as $10, I am missing pts and this is an outrage!" We are fighting about the details.

Loblaw has clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack now. They are beyond just making things work, they are using SAP to strategize. Loblaw are a pack of social justice warriors and their PCO points program redirects profits made from people who don't care how much things cost (they want quality and convenience) to people who are struggling to make ends meet and playing the PCO points game to get ahead. I like IT, I like social justice, I like these guys. I think Galen Weston Jr. is going to become one of my new teen idols. (We will find a picture of him in a magazine, frame it and put it in the hall of fame over the toilet. We like people to have something to look at while they do their business which is why this is an appropriate place for a gallery of businesspeople.)

My message is become aware of these people. Loblaw is doing really interesting things. They are highly competent. They are going to win this so go visit.
What a post! I would like to come to your house and see your framed photo of Mr Weston hanging in the bathroom.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4690 posts
4214 upvotes
lecale wrote: . I think Galen Weston Jr. is going to become one of my new teen idols. (We will find a picture of him in a magazine, frame it and put it in the hall of fame over the toilet. We like people to have something to look at while they do their business which is why this is an appropriate place for a gallery of businesspeople.)
My message is become aware of these people. Loblaw is doing really interesting things. They are highly competent. They are going to win this so go visit.
The TL;DR of @[lecale] 's posts are: Support Canadian Monopolies! Who Needs Competition! Let's Pick 1 Winner (and his name is WESTONETTE) And Screw The Others!

Maybe he needs to add Tim Horton, Ted Rogers and Sandy McTire to go next to the Westonette teen idol poster on his bedroom wall.

For consumers, COMPETITION IS GOOD. I do my best to avoid Loblaws, Canadian Tire, and Rogers (and all of their brands) as much as possible (and I always hated Tim's products) because of how dominant/monopolistic they are. We need competition for consumer choice and honest pricing. God help us if Westonette merges with CT and Rogers. That is SCARY shit. But apparently that would be a consumer utopia for @lecale.

Westonette would be an also-ran in the USA against the likes of Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Aldi, Meijer, etc. In Europe they'd be nobodies against Tesco, Aldi, Carrefour, Lidl, etc. They only do well here due to protectionism and a severe lack of FOREIGN competition to keep them honest. Big fish in a small pond.
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Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
18587 posts
6625 upvotes
Toronto
Honestly it's a d*** move by Walmart to do this during a Pandemic and then you say "We promise to save Canadians money so they can live better". I hope they get a ton of negative press and really think about their decision.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
95 posts
33 upvotes
in and out of a vici…
lecale wrote: No Frills honestly has better produce and it is cheaper. People who heavily cook from scratch shop produce at the discount stores. These people know good produce. No Frills is buying from a lot of smaller producers - family farms. Walmart is buying from the megaproducers and their stuff already comes in plastic sleeves or bags. It looks nice because if you grow several million celery and are going to send half to the food industry and sell half fresh, you can send all the ugly stuff to the processors and send the pretty stuff packaged up real nice to Walmart. Local Canadian produce shows up naked and since they are not picking out only the top 50% prettiest vegetables, it is not as uniform. The quality is higher though.

Here (but generally too) Food Basics has great vegetables. Freshco is a crap shoot. The top tier stores like Loblaws, Metro and Sobeys refrigerate their vegetables more heavily and charge more for them. It all looks perfect for much longer but some things really degrade in flavour when they are chilled.

Pretty well the only time I price matched at Walmart was when it was packaged food and I also wanted to use a coupon, because Walmart is really coupon-friendly. Every supermarket chain is more restrictive. When grocery stores put an item on sale, they order stock to support the sale. Walmart is unaware of its competitors sales until they are announced so they do not have extra stock on hand and because of other price matchers they will sell out faster than the grocery store. I found I had to go on Thursdays for a lot of deals when I could go a few days later to the grocery store and still get the deal.

There are better reasons to go to Walmart than to mess around with price matching. They have awesome drugstore prices (OTC, vitamins, contact lens stuff etc.) They have great deals on spices, I'm thinking Plochmann's coarse ground pepper (vs. Club House coarse ground pepper) and the Great Value ground pepper, solid basics. Their bakery is fancier than the discount grocery stores but just as cheap. Discount grocery tends to have value international foods but Walmart has top branded international foods at good prices. They are also a top destination if you are into packaged goods and like to follow the limited edition flavours because Walmart often gets them first (especially cereal).

They have bad IT. They have bugs left right and centre and they never fix them. A year is never. That's how long they will leave things. This is why I do not like to engage mathematically with Walmart. I could not get out of the store without hitting customer service.

A lot of people ended up at customer service and it just got to complicated to shop there, too much load on CS, brawls, cop cars. This came out of the coupon craze. People read all the store policies and created hugely complex strategies to save money. It was a game. People got sick of such an elaborate way of shopping over COVID. It didn't make sense to stand around and haggle. Walmart can't just drop price matching and march on. They need to change their pricing because I think a lot of people were attracted to playing the store polices game and now they are just not. If Walmart doesn't offer some other way of getting a discount to these people, they are just going to move to discount grocers and never look back.

Agreed. I may still go to Walmart/walmart.ca for private-label (e.g.: Equate, SuperTech, Great Value) items. But killing price matching may cause them to lose out on a lot of "one-stop" shopping.
Last edited by DrewDamage on Sep 19th, 2020 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
95 posts
33 upvotes
in and out of a vici…
Boomer23 wrote: Whenever I price matched, I sorted my groceries and ensured I was organized to make it easy for the cashier. Usually the cashiers would be happy since it makes their job much easier. I can see how it slows down when people randomly pull out flyers and try to find an item while in line.

Edit: spelling

Me, too.

I would also pre-open flyers (both printed and electronic) to the requisite pages, and pre-mark the applicable items therein. In other words: I would try to make the process as seamless and efficient as possible.
Newbie
Oct 30, 2016
46 posts
32 upvotes
peli33 wrote: So Ad Match had minimal usage yet significant impact at checkout? Does not compute.

Psst, maybe having Tap for payment would speed-up checkout process?
New payment terminals were just installed at our store, and the cashier said they will be programmed for tap "very soon".
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
18587 posts
6625 upvotes
Toronto
Cashiers were super slow as well, even if you are organized. So they need better training. I hope they lose a lot of market share and sales, and bring back price matching.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
95 posts
33 upvotes
in and out of a vici…
lecale wrote: What you are saying was once true and real and I am not sure what it is like right now because I haven't been hitting the No Frills much these days. (I would go more but it is in an awkward location. Great store, creditable produce.)

The issue was come Thursday a scattered few promotional prices would not be activated when the clock hit midnight. For me it was produce too. They would catch the issues as the week progressed but if you hit them up on Thursday you were more likely to encounter situations where the sale prices were not activated yet. Unfortunately if you are shopping Thursday it usually means you are one of the people who really cares about best deals and prices. My No Frills knew the odd price didn't update correctly and were easy to deal with. They need to report the error back to Loblaw and Loblaw would fix it for everyone via SAP. While No Frills was waiting for the fix, they would deal with customers affected on a case by case basis.

Loblaw has an ERP system called SAP and that includes a database with product names, UPC numbers, inventory information, regular store prices, plus business logic, e.g., "put this on sale for $1.99 for 7 days starting Thursday, maximum 4 per customer and it's $2.49 if you want more than that." The business logic is the rules of engagement with the customer.

If you are at zehrs.ca all the product info you see there is from SAP. Same with nofrills.ca. Same with shoppersdrugmart.ca. They are all pulling data and rules from this monster SAP system.

When you use the PCO app, it is pulling information from SAP.

When you use the cashier or self checkout, the tills are pulling information from SAP.

Some stores have fancy new shelf labels that communicate wirelessly ... they display the current price, they pull that information from from SAP.

Loblaw is pretty darned good at pricing accuracy in general because they won with SAP. It is very, very, very complicated to set up SAP and get it to run. It takes years. People joke that SAP stands for "Stop All Production" because if you can't get SAP to run right for your company it will totally cripple the business. Target came to Canada, tried to set up SAP on a rush schedule, totally and abysmally failed. People have all sorts of complicated explanations for why Target Canada failed but it's simple math, Failure = Hubris + SAP. Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." Target Canada was way too overconfident on the SAP thing. Empire (Sobeys) eventually implemented SAP but things did not go smoothly. A quick Google on these guys and SAP and you get keywords back like "screwed up," "plagued," and "meltdown." They just gave up at one point but they got back at it and tried again. Empire has SAP running now but Loblaws is the straight A student and Empire is a C average.

When something goes wrong it is a bug and customers are essentially submitting bug reports when they complain. Customer service fixes up the customer, but in the ideal world bugs go to the IT team who will fix them. Loblaws has SAP running robustly and if you find an issue their guys are right on it, patching things up. Then you have companies like Empire and Walmart that won't act on bugs you find because their IT guys are focused on the many other issues in their craptacular SAP implementations. It's like, "thanks for letting us know, we will put it on our list and handle it within a year." No, that's a lie, they don't thank you, you have to write satirical reviews on walmart.ca to explain the general f***ery around a given product but at least they approve your review. If you find a juicy bug at Walmart I assure you there is no channel that will listen but "submit a review" is like open mike night at the comedy club. You should go.

Now we are at a point where Walmart and Empire still make big stupid boners, while a bug with Loblaws generally involves a lot of algebra, like, "listen you bastards I have 200 pts per $1 on the product, 2,000 per $10 on the category, I bought 5 for $1.99 each and the rounding rules say $9.95 counts as $10, I am missing pts and this is an outrage!" We are fighting about the details.

Loblaw has clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack now. They are beyond just making things work, they are using SAP to strategize. Loblaw are a pack of social justice warriors and their PCO points program redirects profits made from people who don't care how much things cost (they want quality and convenience) to people who are struggling to make ends meet and playing the PCO points game to get ahead. I like IT, I like social justice, I like these guys. I think Galen Weston Jr. is going to become one of my new teen idols. (We will find a picture of him in a magazine, frame it and put it in the hall of fame over the toilet. We like people to have something to look at while they do their business which is why this is an appropriate place for a gallery of businesspeople.)

My message is become aware of these people. Loblaw is doing really interesting things. They are highly competent. They are going to win this so go visit.

I think you lost me somewhere between the bible quote, the profanity, and the peculiar idolatry of a Weston-family heir.

Also: is "general f***ery" related to Corporal Foxtrot?
Last edited by DrewDamage on Sep 19th, 2020 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 14, 2005
13358 posts
2257 upvotes
City of Vancouver
I wanted to pm RCSS's CoffeeMate sale at Save-on-Foods, but they only carried International Delight?!?!?Had to go to WM to do the pm, where they kindly let me know pm'ing was ending soon.
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Deal Addict
Mar 26, 2006
2101 posts
227 upvotes
OTTAWA, Canada
Walmart has been my go-to for grocery pickup for the last few month.. I usually match like $9 worth of difference per order, so not too crazy. Will finish up my gift cards before Oct I guess.
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2019
2635 posts
4152 upvotes
blakjak wrote: ...and I’m sure the people waiting in line after you were ecstatic!
Please see the message that said that this was done online.
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Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3324 posts
1154 upvotes
Woodbridge
My wife and I price-match at Walmart every week. Most cashiers are very quick and we have everything set up on Flipp. We might add 30 seconds to our entire check-out process, and most others that I see price-matching are the same. I did the math once - we save about $130/month just on our weekly groceries. Things like cheese, eggs, produce, ice cream, yogurt, cereal, salad dressing, pop, chicken breast etc.... the $0.20 here and $1.00 there really do add up. People are LIVID if Rogers tries to increase their monthly bill by $5 but then get equally annoyed at the folks in line trying to save $30/week on their groceries. Oh well. I guess No Frills and FreshCo it is.
Newbie
Aug 22, 2016
95 posts
33 upvotes
in and out of a vici…
rvcupcake wrote: Found on my Instagram feed.

Such BS. If there's been only "minimal use of the Ad Match program", the delays at checkout cannot be impactful.

Walmart, just admit you're further maximizing profits during a pandemic.

Image

"For more than 26 years, we have been building trust with our customers."

And within 1 month, that trust will be breached.

Also: is "minimal usage of our Ad Match program" a euphemism for "maximal discounts to RFDers"?
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
18587 posts
6625 upvotes
Toronto
DrewDamage wrote: "For more than 26 years, we have been building trust with our customers."

And within 1 month, that trust will be breached.

Also: is "minimal usage of our Ad Match program" a euphemism for "maximal discounts to RFDers"?
Trust me this is going to backfire like crazy and they will be back to price matching in January or earlier.
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2019
1241 posts
553 upvotes
Well, this is disappointing for sure. I really don't buy their excuse that fewer people are price matching overall. Sure, I can see during the pandemic but not in general,. Walmart regular prices overall with very few exceptions are always higher than their competition.

I now expect others like Loblaws and Overwaitea to follow suit as well.

I'm very curious though to see if in this is just a "Canadian thing" or if it's in Walmart USA. I know in the US they're really gung-ho on coupons and price-matching.
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2019
1241 posts
553 upvotes
carmaster wrote: Trust me this is going to backfire like crazy and they will be back to price matching in January or earlier.
We're Canadians. We would never fight for our rights and freedoms...there's always a few exceptions of course and this won't be one of them. The masses will just "suck-it-up" like with our high cell phone data plans and rates.
Deal Expert
Jun 30, 2006
18587 posts
6625 upvotes
Toronto
sheyenne wrote: We're Canadians. We would never fight for our rights and freedoms...there's always a few exceptions of course and this won't be one of them. The masses will just "suck-it-up" like with our high cell phone data plans and rates.
Well once they realize they are going to lose sales to No Frills/FreshCo and other places, they will think twice. It will happen.
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2019
1241 posts
553 upvotes
OntEdTchr wrote: My wife and I price-match at Walmart every week. Most cashiers are very quick and we have everything set up on Flipp. We might add 30 seconds to our entire check-out process, and most others that I see price-matching are the same. I did the math once - we save about $130/month just on our weekly groceries. Things like cheese, eggs, produce, ice cream, yogurt, cereal, salad dressing, pop, chicken breast etc.... the $0.20 here and $1.00 there really do add up. People are LIVID if Rogers tries to increase their monthly bill by $5 but then get equally annoyed at the folks in line trying to save $30/week on their groceries. Oh well. I guess No Frills and FreshCo it is.

I'm not sure if there's Loblaws where you are. But it seems the staff at many chain grocery stores are becoming more ignorant than ever, much like people in general it seems. I was at Superstore and wanted them to price match with their sister company Canadian Whole Sale Club. There's a store about 3 km away. The cashier never heard of them. She called her supervisor who was in her mid-40s and she never heard of them either, but she asked how many items and it was just one, so she let it through.

I also had one senior employee at Walmart refuse to PM a Coke product which was on sale. I know he wasn't a new employee. I told him that you've been working here for a long time now and you know very well when one of these Coke products go on sale they all do, I also had a pic on my phone of the item. He reluctantly agreed but not after spending a few minutes in line debating the price match. It reminded me of the old Future Shop and Staple days.

I don't buy for a second Walmart's excuse. They just want to increase their retail profit margins, that's the actual reason they're doing this.

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