Bread Cartel: Loblaw starts distributing $25 gift cards

Consumers who want a $25 Loblaw Gift Card can now fill out the registration form available on the company’s website. Last month, Loblaw promised to compensate customers after admitting to conspiring to inflate the price of bread between 2002 and 2015.

Full details on the program and a complete list of products priced through a commercial scheme are also available on carteloblaw.ca , which was updated Monday morning.

Anyone who bought any of these products at a Loblaws store, including Provigo, Maxi and Superstore, between 2002 and March 2015, can claim their card by May 8th. No proof of purchase is required.

List of products covered

• Ben’s
Bread • Good Morning
Bread • Country Harvest
Bread • Dempster’s
Bread • Italiano
Bread
• Gadoua Bread • McGavin’s
Bread • No Name
Bread • Old Mill
Bread
• POM Bread
• Weston Bread • Wonder Bread

Loblaws however reserves the right to limit the number of cards issued under the program, which will cost it up to $150 million, according to its estimates.

The gift card can only be used to buy food products.

A derisory offer

“A $ 25 gift card – when there have been years of collusion – for a family of four who goes to the grocery store every week and buys bread is very, very little,” says the professor. John Molson School of Business Marketing at Concordia University, Jordan LeBel.

It’s a safe bet that there are many consumers who will think about their loyalty to the banner.

Jordan LeBel, Professor, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University

According to him, these gift cards are only an attempt “to regain the trust and loyalty of consumers.”

A marketing operation

Sylvain Charlebois, professor of food policy at Dalhousie University, agrees. He believes Loblaw’s compensation is just a “public relations issue to attract more customers.”

“They’ll give you $ 25, but the condition is that you have to come back to Loblaw” by spending in his stores, denounces for his part the class action lawyer Joey Zukran.

“It’s going to be profitable for Loblaw because people who are going in with $ 25 are going to spend a lot more,” he adds.

With this program, they will encourage people to buy. And they will make money instead of losing money.

Joey Zukran, Lawyer, LPC Lawyer Inc.

$25 deducted from any compensation

Joey Zukran, from LPC Avocat Inc., filed a $ 1 billion class action suit against the company in November. Other class actions have also been launched elsewhere in the country. None have yet been authorized by the courts.

In this regard, Loblaw makes it clear on its website that participation in the gift card program “will not affect the right of customers to participate in a class action or receive any additional compensation that the court may award” .

On the other hand, the fine print at the bottom of the registration form indicates that if you register, $ 25 will be deducted from “any compensation you may be entitled to receive under a Loblaw judgment in a class action” .

What worries lawyer Zukran, because “the problem with all this is that we do not deduct $ 25 in cash, we deduct $25 coupon. Probably $6 or $7 for Loblaw. ”

Protection of private life

Another issue that worries consumers is the protection of their privacy. By filling out the form to obtain the $ 5 card, customers must give several personal details such as their name, address and date of birth.

While such data is a gold mine for retailers, Loblaw states in the agreement that it will not use it for marketing purposes “unless we have already obtained your consent”.

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About the Author: Amy England

Amy Is a researcher and law student at York University (TORONTO). She has worked as the Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program. She worked for American law firms in Moscow, Russia for three years. Hegraduated from Columbia Law School, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and Harvard College. She research interest is in human rights and health law, with a particular focus on the law and policy of vaccination.

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