Loblaws Canada groceries: Video goes viral after man slams 'downright antagonistic' Loblaw-affiliated stores

Thousands agree with the London man's nine-minute rant on Reddit, which details how stores have taken a turn for the worse in the last 20 years

A "solo dad" in London, Ont., says he is fed up with Loblaw and its affiliated stores, like Real Canadian Superstore, for what he sees as the deterioration of customer service over the last 20 years.

A man who’s gone viral after posting a video to Reddit outlining his frustrations with Loblaw-affiliated grocery stores says he simply wanted to point out the increasing injustices at the place where he shops for food.

Scott Simpson, who lives in London, Ont., now, posted his nine-minute "rant" to the Loblaws Is Out Of Control forum, detailing all the things he feels have changed for the worse over the 20 years he's shopped at Real Canadian Superstore outlets in both Nova Scotia and Ontario.

The self-described "solo dad" unloads his frustrations, which range from carts not being cleaned down to baskets no longer being available; he adds that food from the hot counter is pre-packaged, rather than made fresh; and he laments cumbersome self-checkout lanes. The video has amassed over 200 comments and more than 1,200 upvotes in the increasingly popular anti-Loblaw Reddit forum which boasts more 50,000 members.

Simpson says the breaking point came when the store’s click-and-collect program, which allows customers to order online and then have their items brought to their car at the store, started packaging the groceries in discarded produce boxes.

“I know they want us to bring our own bags, but this felt like, ‘Oh we need something to put stuff in, and it would be cheaper to … throw away our garbage with our customers and make them throw it out,’” he says. “It made me feel dirty.”

He says he specifically didn’t go after Loblaws Chairman Galen Weston, or the steep increase in food prices, in his video because everybody knows about those.

“It’s a big company doing what big companies do,” he says. “But I’m talking about the choices they’re making to make those profits happen at a ground level that I feel and a lot of people feel … It doesn’t have to be this way.”

Simpson admits that he’s addressed many of his issues with store managers, who’ve encouraged him to file complaints with higher-ups online. Simpson has done this, even requesting someone return his message when he's left feedback, but no one has so far.

“(Grocery shopping) ceased being something really useful that helped me manage a chaotic life, to something that just became an added piece of chaos.” Simpson, who is autistic and has ADHD, says. “Some of my earlier memories are of going shopping at Loblaws with my mother. That’s special to me. And knowing I’ve mostly stayed with one chain and to have them kick you a little bit, I don’t like it. It feels rotten. It feels personal.”

Simpson says he hopes the video makes people realize that they matter, even if they don’t feel like they do when grocery shopping. Since he doesn’t have many other options in the vicinity to do his shopping, he won’t be able to take part in the upcoming boycott of Loblaws and Loblaw-affliated stores, which the Reddit forum planned for the month of May. However, he supports and encourages those who can.

“The little things that bother them, really do bother them…if it’s a problem for you, it’s a problem,” he says. “When a company starts creating more problems than solutions, it’s time to look around and see who else can meet your needs.”

Since the Loblaws Is Out Of Control forum was launched on Reddit last November, it has garnered 54,000 members, becoming a go-to place to post eyebrow-raising prices on everyday items at Loblaw-affiliated stores, like No Name olive oil for $58.99, or $16 watermelons.

As part of the planned national boycott for the month of May, organizers are demanding a 15-per-cent reduction in prices, along with the elimination of "member only pricing" policies.