Loblaw boycott [Ontario] [Canada]

There is a movement on reddit to boycott all Loblaw affiliated stores in Canada for the month of May. Participants are encouraged to boycott Loblaw permanently to have a lasting effect.

Why not just shop somewhere else and review the better alternatives? The reddit post talks about how Loblaws (and others) have a monopoly but then they list a hundred other places to shop.

Doesn’t sound like a monopoly to me if there are lots of other options.

I think it’s because Canadians (especially rural) love the convenience of “mega-grocers” that have everything under 1 roof, points programs, etc. They’d prefer to complain and push for government oversight to keep that model than supporting the smaller mom-n-pops with smaller store footprints. I love shopping for my breads at a bakery, meats at a butcher, fruit & veg at Asian produce shops - but I’m a city dweller.


I already boycott Walmart and Costco.

I like some President’s Choice products.

The last 6 months, I’ve been spending 70 percent of my grocery budget at independent grocery stores (Remark Market in London, Fiesta Farms in TO), produce shops, butchers or bakeries. I buy most of my week’s meat and chicken at Sanagan’s each Sunday.

I buy about 10 percent of my groceries at Farm Boy.

The remainder is split among Sobeys, Loblaws- Superstore and Metro, mostly items I can’t find at the other stores, and paper products. I stop by maybe once a month.

I don’t go out of my way to avoid Loblaws, but I do go out of my way to support local and indie business.

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I’ve been boycotting Blah Blahs for years because their prices are higher and I have much better options available in my nabe(Metro/Farm Boy/green grocers/independent bakeries). It’ll be interesting to see if this has any impact and them.


I think the protest is mostly over the high cost of food at Loblaws. In Ottawa (where I live) they seem to charge way more than any other chain grocer in town. And from reading the comments on reddit and Facebook a lot of small town residents complain that their local Loblaw store is the only option. I periodically shop at Loblaws or Your Independent Grocer but I usually check the grocery store flyers and buy what’s on sale and few of my items come from Loblaw stores. I bought $30 worth of groceries at Loblaws last Friday and that’s the most I’ve spent in any of the Loblaw stores in awhile. When it comes to chains I shop at Farm Boy most often but will sometimes hop on the bus and go to Walmart, Freshco, Food Basics, or Adonis if they have enough sale items I need to justify a bus trip. Most of the places I shop at are independent stores.


If you’re a price checker, and I think you are, and I definitely am, you know the going prices around town.

I’ve never paid more for something at Loblaws than I would pay at Sobeys or Metro, because I know how much the same products typically cost elsewhere. If the price looks high, I don’t buy the product, anywhere.

I stock up on deals at Loblaws when I see them, and I buy things at Loblaws at the regular price if the price is in the same ballpark as Metro or Sobeys. I’m not comparing Loblaws prices to Food Basics, Price Chopper, Walmart or Giant Tiger prices.

I think some people, especially Redditors, are comparing prices at Walmart to prices at Loblaws.

Of course Walmart is cheaper.

I’ve never seen my Loblaws in London charge more than what Metro or Sobeys are charging for the things I purchase.

I know No Frills is cheaper, but the produce at my local No Frills sucks compared to what I buy at my indie stores and compared to what produce at Farm Boy.

I don’t like some of the cheaper brands of canned and dried beans, or the meat, sold at No Frills, Food Basics and Price Chopper, so I rarely choose to shop at any of those places unless I need some toilet paper or dish soap.

When I lived near the 401, I had a nice Loblaws, a nice independent ( Bruno’s) and a mediocre Metro located within 25 minute walk. Once I moved downtown, I had a Mr Grocer turned Valumart turned Your Independent Market, a Whole Foods and the Metro at Bloor and Spadina within a 20 minute walk, for 8 years. The Metro at Bloor and Spadina has always been depressing relative to nice Metros in the burbs and in other cities. I shop at Metro in London, but I typically avoid it in Toronto.

Now I’m living closer to the Little Italy Metro, and the produce is horrible. Some is ready for the compost. I can see why some people choose to shop at Loblaws if their other option is a mediocre Metro.

The Metros at Yonge and Lawrence, at Yonge and Eglinton, at York Mills and Eglinton and at Bayview and Eglinton are pretty nice Metros. The Little Italy and Annex Metros are not nearly as nice.

The Loblaws at St Clair and Bathurst and the Loblaws at Dupont and Christie are much nicer stores than the Little Italy Metro and the Annex Metro. They also have nicer, bigger parking lots.

This all said, I don’t tend to shop at the nice Loblaws (St Clair and Bathurst, Dupont and Christie, Yonge St South of York Mills) when I’m in Toronto, because I’m so loyal to Fiesta Farms and Sanagan’s.

I know there are really great Metros in the GTA. I have not found one close enough to be to be convenient.

Fiesta Farms on Christie has better produce and meat than the Little Italy Metro and the Annex Metro.

The only Sobeys near the Annex, on Dupont , was knocked down to make room for condos.

I like Longo’s, Highland Farms, Coppa’s, and Lady York. These stores are not convenient for me. I visit less than once a year. I stop by when I’m in the neighborhood.


As the saying goes… The best cure for high prices is… high prices. The parade of executives of Loblaws and Bell in front of committees would not change anything until consumers actually change their behaviour. I personally haven’t shopped at Loblaws downtown TO but not because of the high prices (even though they are high). It’s because of the poor quality fresh produce. It seems whoever’s stocking the downtown shelves doesn’t even care if the product is close to unsalable. I’ve seen their No Frills tier stock fresher produce.


Maybe it’s a downtown problem with the produce at Loblaws and Metro. They know the produce is better at the little produce markets on Bloor, Danforth, Roncy, Midtown, Chinatown and elsewhere, and some customers make the weekly drive to a Costco, so most people buying their produce are a captive market.

I’m sure Rabba exists because of its captive market. I wandered through at 10:30 pm on a weekday after an event last year, for the first time in a decade or longer. I couldn’t believe the prices for groceries. I know it’s a convenience store, but the prices were much higher than any Mom & Pop convenience store or Loblaws.

I suspect the produce isn’t turning over quickly, the store rooms are storing it properly, and the produce staff don’t know what they’re doing at the downtown locations of Metro and Loblaws.

I’ve not see bad produce at the Loblaws on Yonge near Lawrence. There’s probably higher turnover and more demanding clients in Lawrence Park.