Visit uncharted.ca!
  • authored by weiser
  • published Thu, Dec 15, 2005

Supercenter vs. Superstore

Wal-Mart Has announced that it will open some Supercenters in Canada
Who would have guessed? The Globe and Mail make it sound like something new, but it ain't. Wal-Mart Supercenter is nothing more than a Real Canadian Superstore with Wal-Mart plastered on the front. The other difference is that the minimum-wage employees in Superstore have to belong to a union whereas the non-union, minimum-wage employees at Wal-Mart don't.

Stay tuned for Loblaw's plea to the UFCW for more concessions so that they can operate cheaper than Wal-Mart.

  • posted by rogead
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 6:50am

Weiser,

I missed this topic and posted in reference to it in another forum.

Are there any reasons under Canadian or Ontario regulations for Wal-Mart to avoid use of the term "Supercenter"?

  • posted by weiser
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 6:53am

Not really. I do know that Lobaws sued Safeway over its use of Safeway Superstores. I don't think that there was a court decision on that.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 7:17am

Well it's taken a few years but I think we're ready for walmart - the red carpet is rolled out.

We've successfully lowered service industry living standards and expectations. Health and retirement benefits have all but been destroyed. walmart will not have to fret about unfair competition in that area.

The only thing left undone is the legislative end of the people sweep - and ufcw is working hard on that with numerous expensive legal pleadings.

Curb to curb supercenters with wall to wall dues and court sanctioned automated union (aka: the right to representation) - a biz-U dream.

  • posted by weiser
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 7:58am

Think of it this way. Wal-Mart may never have opened a Supercenter in Canada if Loblaw hadn't opened its own Superstores.

Supersores encroach on Wal-Mart (Zellers, K-Mart etc.) turf. The food giant started to see big bucks in general merchandise. They wanted a piece of Wal-Mart's pie.

Loblaw is now in the process of trying to replicate Wal-Mart's distribution system. That's why all the talk in the Maplegrove and other threads.

Loblaw wants to be the Equivalent of Wal-Mart. The UFCW is assisting Loblaw to become Wal-Mart.

When Wal-Mart pays $10, UFCW signs a contract so that Loblaw can pay $8. The UFCW makes sure that there are high top rates in its CAs, but the CA is structure to ensure that no one makes it to the top rates. They are for show. Compare Wal-Mart at $10 per hr. at 30 hrs a week and Superstore at $18 for 12 hours per week. Who gets to take home more?

It doesn't really matter. Both are under employed and neither can support even themselves on those sorts of wages.

That crap has become a fact of life in retail food/GM. What's really sick about it is that the UFCW accepts that reality. They promote that reality. They say one thing in public and do the opposite behind closed doors.

  • posted by soitis
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 3:38pm

It sound like Sams Clubs are not doing what the fat cats from the hills of Arkansas expected. At least when their "superstores" come, then everyone will know for sure what kind of impact they will have in Canada.

  • posted by eddy munster
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 7:53pm

The superstores are going to flop, just like the RCSS format big box stores. Canadian shopping patterns are different than the American shopping pattern. Walmart will have a hard time competing against No Frills that's for sure. The RCSS Stores are 120,000 or 150,000 square feet and customers are complaining that it is too big. Walmart Superstores are 190,000 square feet and what do you think most con sumers are going to say about their airplane hangars? I don't think so. Besides, your not going to get shoppers from Loblaws or Zehrs shopping at Walmart, if those consumers want discount pricing they would have gone to No Frills a long time ago. Walmart doesn't sell Presidents Choice products, that's the difference.

  • posted by LloydDobler
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 7:55pm

quote:


posted by rogead:
Weiser,

I missed this topic and posted in reference to it in another forum.

Are there any reasons under Canadian or Ontario regulations for Wal-Mart to avoid use of the term "Supercenter"?


Yes, in Canada the term would have to be "Supercentre".

  • posted by LloydDobler
  • Thu, Dec 15, 2005 8:11pm

quote:


posted by weiser:
Wal-Mart Has announced that it will open some Supercenters in Canada
Who would have guessed? The Globe and Mail make it sound like something new, but it ain't. Wal-Mart Supercenter is nothing more than a Real Canadian Superstore with Wal-Mart plastered on the front. The other difference is that the minimum-wage employees in Superstore have to belong to a union whereas the non-union, minimum-wage employees at Wal-Mart don't.

Stay tuned for Loblaw's plea to the UFCW for more concessions so that they can operate cheaper than Wal-Mart.


Globe article the next day [Thursday]:
Wal-Mart fires up supermarket price wars

quote:


Loblaw has talked to union representatives to find ways of reclassifying employee pay scales to help reduce operational costs. The idea is to pass on savings to consumers in lower prices. For years Loblaw, has argued that Wal-Mart and Costco have an edge because they have no unions.


  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 8:57am

I'm sure that "and the union reps couldn't drop their pants quickly enough".

Non union doesn't mean lower wages when it comes to Costco and Wal-Mart in Canada. Union means lower, and lower and lower wages at Loblaws in Canada.

It's so sweet that the unions have joined forces to help Loblaws compete. I'm beginning to think that the UFCW is little more than the HR department for Loblaws.

  • posted by soitis
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 2:35pm

How can Costco and Walmart be put in the same group (pay wise)? I heard that Costco pays it's employee's well. I have never heard anyone (including those who worked there) say Walmart pay's well.

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 4:20pm

Wal-Mart doesn't pay well. Neither do Superstores.

Superstores are unionized Wal-Marts.

  • posted by soitis
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 4:41pm

Superstores are not great. I agree. But Walmart is the lowest of low employers.

  • posted by weiser
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 6:45pm

Believe me. Superstore is at best no better than Wal-Mart. Superstore has huge turnover.

  • posted by soitis
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 7:24pm

Nobody is saying Loblaw's is fantastic. But all this talk on these mfd forums about Walmart being a better place to work than LCL(with it's pro business union) is just plain silly. Walmart is the WORST employer in the retail sector. I really wonder about the mindset of some of the people who write on this board. If any union (even the UFCW) could lower costs for the employer (like some suggest), then why does Walmart fight every union (including CAW, UFCW) with success every step of the way?
Anyone suggesting that Walmart is better place to work than a Loblaw+UFCW combination, does this for no other purpose than to exaggerate their point.

  • posted by tug
  • Fri, Dec 16, 2005 8:14pm

I disagree that the Superstore concept won't work in Canada. The fact is it has worked for over 20 years in Western Canada. I realize that many people in Ontario think the country ends at their borders. Those of us in the west are aware that in many areas RCSS is the market leader in Food and a growing presence in GM. I do agree that the RCSS concept will have a more difficult time in Eastern Canada where the Loblaws supercentre concept has alredy failed once.

That being said I agree with what everyone has said about Loblaws and how they treat their workers. I believe that they are really not any better than Wal-mart in that regard.

  • posted by soitis
  • Sat, Dec 17, 2005 6:01am

Hi Tug
The superstore concept may work this time in Ontario. We do realize that RCSS has been out west for some time and has done well. For now it will be a wait and see in this market.

FYI...this stuff about Ontario thinking that its borders are the boundaries of the country is a Western Canadian myth. No one talks like that. In fact I did not even know that such a viewpoint was held by anyone untill I heard a local radio personality talking about it (he worked in Western Canada for a few years). He said that it was not true and told his western audience that on a number of occasions.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sat, Dec 17, 2005 7:06am

soitis, you've made a comment that Wal-Mart is the worst. What data do you base your assumption on?

You've implied that Superstore is better than Wal-Mart. How did you come to that conclusion?

  • posted by Berserkerman
  • Sat, Dec 17, 2005 2:01pm

Personally from what I gather from Walmart employees and from what I know about Loblaws/RCSS is that Walmart pays better for part time clerks, but is worse with regards to benefits and also treat the workers poorly. So if one is looking for short term employment then Walmart would be a better choice as they hire people at $8.50-$9 compaired to $7.45 at RCSS/Loblaws.

  • posted by soitis
  • Sat, Dec 17, 2005 7:57pm

Hi Weiser

I feel the whole retail sector is far from being a great place to make a living now. In fact it has regressed to the point of being just a job, till you get a real job. And who lead the way??? Walmart. The leader sets the pace.
I do know a person who worked at one (full time without getting full time hours). He had a split shift every week, (with Fridays off) working Monday thru Saturday. Four of the five shifts were night hours and one day shift. His big bonus was about a $1000 for the year, and his full time wage was so low that I can't even remember anymore (because it seemed so unreal). They forced him to pretend he was doing the Walmart cheer (which he said he f*****g hated). I could go on and on.
I don't care if someone hates the ufcw or their work, but presenting Walmart like it is something better takes away from the credibility of the person writing their veiws. It's hard to take them seriously.

Later
soitis

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Dec 18, 2005 12:41pm

No, no, no.... Wal-Mart isn't better by any stretch. Loblaws is it's evil twin. They are both bastard employers.

What I'm saying is that it's outrageous that the UFCW has worked with Loblaw and others to create the Wal-Mart experience in a union shop.

Does it feel better to get a kick in the ass just because you pay dues? Wal-Mart kicks ass 'cause it doesn't have a union to stop it. Loblaws kicks ass 'cause it has a union contract that allows it to and in some instances requires it to.

You've read the Loblaw distribution threads. What's happening there is that Loblaw distribution is in the process of being Wal-Martized--and then some. They are doing it with the help of a union.

Loblaw paid the International and three of the Locals a few million in cash--not to the members, but the International (which has no direct members) and the locals. Is Loblaws just some philanthropic organization that likes to pump up special union accounts? Not really. By law they have to get something of value for each cent of shareholders' money that it spends.

What did Loblaw buy for $3 million? What did the union sell for $3 million plus a whack of extra dough into the CCWIPP?

© 2017 Members for Democracy