When Loblaw Co. and parent company George Weston admitted late Tuesday that it engaged in a bread price-fixing scheme, consumers and experts that follow the industry closely were all blown away.
“Shocked and disappointed” is how Dalhousie University’s Sylvain Charlebois describes his reaction to Loblaw’s admission that they have been fixing the price of bread.
The grocery business is very competitive in Canada, but what’s been admitted to is completely outside the lines of reasonable business tactics. Whether on the RealAgriculture Facebook page, on Twitter or in the grocery store, farmers and consumers are not happy.
“It’s hard to increase sales these days if you don’t have the trust of consumers,” says Charlebois, speaking with RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney. “Bread was targeted to make this issue political, and this price-fixing scheme is going mainstream as a result of it. I don’ think it’s going to end there.”
Many people, including Charlebois, believe that Loblaw is getting off light and the decision to issue gift cards won’t repair the relationship with consumers.
Hear Shaun Haney and Sylvain Charlebois’s discussion about the Loblaw bread price fixing scheme: