اخبار العرب-كندا 24: الثلاثاء 3 أكتوبر 2023 04:43 مساءً
A Reddit post that exposes the shocking discrepancy in price of baby formula at Shoppers Drug Mart and Walmart in Toronto is putting a spotlight on the value of time and convenience and continuing the onslaught of eye-popping grocery prices in Canada.
The post on the Toronto subreddit shows photos of the same Similac baby formula at both stores. However, the one at Walmart is priced at $32.98, while the one at Shoppers is being sold for $42.29.
“It's hard enough to raise a baby in this city but this to me is just like a next level f**k you,” the original poster wrote. “How is this kind of mark up even allowed?”
David Soberman is a professor of marketing at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
He says while it’s shocking to see the price difference between the two stores, it’s important to remember that we live in a free-market economy.
“Retailers have the right to charge whatever prices they want,” he told Yahoo Canada in an interview. “You can look at it in a positive way and make sure you shop around because there’s big savings to be had.”
He says that whenever a consumer goes to a big box store like Walmart or Canadian Tire, they will find a better price than at a drugstore, which runs more like a convenience store than a supermarket.
“There’s always a bit of responsibility for consumers to be aware of these relationships and use those to make good buying decisions,” Soberman says.
If you have a limited income, you have to learn how to shop.
For some people it’s worth it to pick up the same product that’s around the corner rather than having to go out of their way just because it’s cheaper elsewhere. Soberman refers to people who go out of their way to shop for deals — “cherry pickers” — and it's generally out of necessity due to low wages and affordability.
He adds that stores like Shoppers likely have to pay more per unit of baby formula than Walmart since they don't sell as much as the big box store does. So ultimately, the consumer is paying for the convenience.
Soberman says that unless consumers can identify serious harm caused by business practices, it’s generally best to not try and regulate these types of products.
“There’s a responsibility as we grow up and become adults to inform ourselves about shopping, just as we inform ourselves about walking across the road,” he says. “You can say ‘I didn’t know I had to look both ways and I got run over’....there’s a certain responsibility to know. If you have a limited income, you have to learn how to shop.”
In the comments on Reddit, many noted that Walmart will always provide the cheaper option, while Shoppers has become on-par with convenience stores, so you are paying for the practicality of the chain’s many locations and longer hours.
“One is a convenience store and one's a big-box store,” wrote one commenter. “So the prices will reflect that difference."
“Don't buy baby stuff at Shoppers, or you'll go broke,” another commenter suggested. “Walmart and Costco are the only way.”
“You are paying for (convenience),” wrote another. “Do you see a (Walmart) every couple of blocks like you do with (Shoppers)?”
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