(james benedict brown) on the road

Valeur nutritive…

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 19 December, 2005

Seeing as I’ve now worked for this group of supermarkets for almost a month, today I felt it was about time I went and actually had a look round one of the stores. I am becoming particularly intimate with the own brand inventories but know the reams of products only by codes, numbers and quanities…

Ville d’Anjou (where I work) is going to be one of those places that will suffer very badly when the petrol runs out. It’s a typical indefinite suburb of Montréal, where long boulevards and vast car parks abound, and it’s impossible to navigate in winter without a car. Very frequent and reliable bus routes do serve these parts of town and one takes me to my door every morning, but I know from experience that Montréal is an exception in this respect. There’s a big discount store just down Jean-Talon from my office, so I thought I’d go and have a shifty.

It was certainly quite strange to walk in and be confronted immediately by stacks of -40C windshield fluid; it was just this morning that I prepared some documents for the supplier of this own brand product (one of the single biggest selling items in SuperC at this time of year…). The store was actually a surprise: I hadn’t suspected it to be so modern, clean and airy. I don’t know exactly why that was a surprise… I guess it’s because my only experience of Canadian supermarkets so far hasn’t been that great.

Big chunky fixtures and fittings in bright colours shouted no-nonsense-shopping and big banners on the walls shouted ‘Super Prix! Tous les jours!’. I meandered aimlessly through the aisles, comparing prices and imagining I was pushing a trolley with two screaming sprogs… 1kg bulk cans of fruit salad… trays of own brand cola… 10kg sacks of Canadian potatoes… family sized packs of diapers…

No need for any of that just yet… So I bought a back òf ‘Viva Trail Mix Nuts’ and scuttled to the exit. As I searched through my change for a quarter a couple of copper coins dropped onto the moving conveyor, and got eaten by the check-out. The cashier shrugged and said something pithy and appropriate in a thick accent.


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