Galen Weston Jr. wants you to think he’s a good guy. To the unsuspecting consumer, his latest stunt would have you believe as such. He wants you to believe he’s in it WITH you while Canadians find ways to battle consumer inflation. Here’s the email a lot of folks received today from Galen, explaining how his empire is freezing price increases on their store-brand items:
I’m reaching out today to address an issue that’s top of mind for most Canadians: food prices. Anyone who regularly visits the grocery store knows that over the past year the cost of food has increased rapidly. In fact, the price of an average basket of groceries is up about 10% this year…and almost 15% over two years. For some items — like butter, apples, soups, and chips — prices are up much more than that.
Maddeningly, much of this is out of our control. Your grocery bill is higher today because the suppliers who make the products we sell are raising their prices for us. And, while we’ve challenged (and will continue to challenge) any unfair price increases, the truth is most are reasonable. Suppliers’ basic costs are way higher than they’ve been in decades — no different than costs like the gas in your car, or your rent or mortgage.
None of these explanations offer much comfort when you’re worried about your family’s budget and uncertain about how much you’ll need each month to pay for food.
That’s why, to help Canadians hit the brakes on food inflation, we are focusing on what is in our control. Starting today, we’re freezing prices of all no name products — more than 1,500 grocery essentials, sold in our stores across the country — until January 31, 2023.
On average, no name prices are already 25% cheaper than comparable name brands. Coupled with this price lock, that could make a real difference in both your grocery bills and your peace of mind. You’ll know that if other food prices go up, no name prices won’t…guaranteed.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to lower prices here, in our flyer, and across our stores, all designed to provide immediate relief from escalating food costs.
Last, I absolutely have to encourage you to look at how you can make the most of PC Optimum. Between the app’s personalized offers and member-only pricing, and by taking full advantage of our whole loyalty program, some members are regularly saving 10% on their grocery bills.
We don’t know when this will end, but we do know that right now every cent matters. It’s my hope that our no name price freeze, along with our PC Optimum program and a determination to hold the line with our suppliers will help make a meaningful difference to your grocery budget at a time when you may need it most.
Sounds nice, eh? From some of the same folks who brought you “the great Canadian bread price-fixing scandal,” this is not some altruistic gesture. Not to mention the shamelessly gross plug for his information-farming “points” apps, what Galen is doing is spinning press off of a common practise in Canadian grocer operations who deal in “store-brand” merchandising, as pointed out to CBC Reporter Melissa Bennardo:
Loblaw Public Relations says Otherwise
An unnamed PR person at Loblaws sent a cookie-cutter reply denying the “commonly-known-amongst-insiders” merchandising strategy:
Who is lying?