Doing PENance in the Food Aisle … HI Prices, LO Quality

I’ve been a loyal, card-carrying member of the Hi Lo Food Stores for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t just about the points and the prizes … I have been in Hi Lo’s corner since before the days of ‘FOLLOW DE RED ARROW AT HI LO’

There was a time … not so very long ago … when I boasted to all who would listen about the fact that their prices were better than Tru Valu’s and that the shelves were stacked better than many of the other markets.

Well…

The thrill is gone.

I went to Hi Lo Four Roads a couple Saturdays ago, in search of ingredients for a couple cakes that I had to build for an order. I looked at the baking shelf in sheer horror. The prices were between $5 and $8 more than those at Tru Valu. I even mentioned this to two members of staff who were on the lane. One of them shrugged her shoulders and said to me that members of staff had spoken to store managers about the recent pricing and that nothing was being done.

That’s when I remembered my mother’s annoyance when a couple months ago she spent over eight hundred dollars at the West Moorings branch and she had no idea what she had purchased. Faithful customer that I am, I still continued to think of the two situations as a fluke.

This Sunday morning, however, when in a state of bewilderment I walked out of the Four Roads branch with approximately three large bags, having just spent slightly under four hundred dollars, brotha the bloom was so off of that rose.

What the hell is going on with the Canning’s Group of Companies – the parent company of Hi Lo Food Stores??? Is it that the WANT to be priced out of the market? Could it be that they are searching for such exclusivity that pretty soon their own staff won’t be able to spend there?

This is ridiculous!!! There is no need to pay the exorbitant costs for vegetables when Canning’s has their own farms – something I might add, that they have boasted about in the past. How can it be that a couple blocks up the Diego Martin Main Road at West Bee’s it is possible to purchase 6 cartons of Green Butterfly Evaporated Milk for the special price of $30 and that special is not available at Hi Lo … in fact I believe that the cost of evaporated milk has soared to almost $6 a carton. Have I mentioned that we’re talking quarter litre cartons here?

How is it that three packets of macaroni can be had at West Bees for $10 dollars but not at Hi Lo? Whatever happened to specials???

You have dubbed yourself the nation’s favorite food store. Guess what? That shit no longer holds water. Have you not noticed that the month end lines have dwindled? Try doing a little sneak shopping at Tru Valu on a month end Friday and see the lines wrapping around lanes like ‘back in the day’ at Hi Lo. And it’s not just on a month end anymore. You can find those long lines on any given day. The transition is almost complete and in a little while from now Hi Lo will be a thing of the past, and that would be so sad.

What makes it even scarier is the fact that the budget has not as yet been read for the upcoming fiscal year and as such I shudder to think what the near future holds for food prices across the board.

Something has to be done, because points and prizes are no longer enough to hold on to your customers Hi Lo … better can and MUST be done.

Go back to the days of comparison shopping – when replenishing staff would go to other markets and compare so that the prices were better controlled.

Have a heart for your fellow citizens – those whose salaries have not been increased, even though their food costs have. Do the math and attempt, as the other members of the Supermarket Owners Association have, to find the middle ground.

Don’t make me come get yo ass!!!

Fix this and NOW!!!