Thursday, February 4, 2010

A letter to the chairman of Superstore

Tracy Hyatt
The Working Poor Diet

Galen Weston
Executive Chairman
Loblaw Companies Limited
22 St. Clair Avenue East
Toronto, Ontario
M4T 2S7

February 4th, 2010

Dear Mr. Galen Weston:

For the month of February, I have only $80 to spend on food. By choice, I have joined the thousands of Albertans who feed their families on a limited budget. In fact, 21% of Albertans earn less than $12 per hour in this supposedly wealthy province. I am doing my best to make healthy choices and follow the Canada Food Guide, but there are many obstacles.

Last Sunday, I visited the west end Superstore in Edmonton and was delighted to find romaine lettuce for $0.77. However, one hour later when I visited another Superstore in the city on the north side, the romaine lettuce was $1.68. That's a difference of $0.91. I know that may not seem like a lot of money to you, but for me, this month, $0.91 is two more meals. I visually inspected the more expensive lettuce and it looked the same as the lower-priced lettuce. There was no difference in quality.

Mr. Weston, why does food vary in price from Superstore to Superstore in the same city? Why would Superstore price food higher in an area of the city where household incomes are lower?

Tracy Hyatt


  1. Very good question!!

  2. Are there fewer choices? I think that in a higher income area, there are often more grocery store options, and the lower prices get you in the store.

    In poorer areas = fewer choices = no need to compete.