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Canada - Shopping
Supermarkets vary across the country. Supermarkets such as Safeways or Sobeys have one brand name right across all of their branches, but there are other supermarkets which have a regional identity. In Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick have a small supermarket chain known as Atlantic Superstore. The same chain in Western Canada is known as Real Canadian Super Store. Safeway is considered to be one of the more expensive shops while the Real Canadian Superstore is ideal for those who buy in bulk and Sobeys is considered to be for those who want something in between. Most supermarkets offer their own brand on different products and many will have ethnic food sections that will suit different cultures. Canadians are in the habit of doing one large shop every week or so and those who are moving from the UK will find that Canada has les in the way of smaller local shops. The supermarket shopping experience in Canada is considered to be a less stressful one than can be experienced in a UK supermarket occasionally. It is rare to encounter a queue at the checkout and most shops have staff that can help you to take your shopping out to the car.
Shopping hours in Canada are different everywhere you go and these are overseen by each provincial government, although in practice there is little regulation. In some provinces such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and all the territories, there are no restrictions on the hours that a shop can open, but you will rarely find a shop that opens on a 24 hour basis as you might in the UK or the US. In Nova Scotia a shop cannot open on Remembrance Day, but there are no restrictions at any other time. In all other areas shops are required to close on the major public holidays. Manitoba and New Brunswick only allow Sunday openings with official approval. Some areas will restrict the hours of opening on a Sunday to 12 noon to 5 pm. In Quebec all shopping hours are regulated. Shops are only allowed to trade between 8 am and 9 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 5 pm at weekends. Holiday opening hours are different.
Sales are held regularly as they are in the UK and the US, with the big sales being at the start of the year and in the summer. The quality of goods available all year round is very good, with most well known brands of household items available across the country. Living in a remote or rural area might see you having to order in particular items and waiting for a delivery. Auction sites such as eBay are becoming popular and the main eBay.com site is the one used by Canadians.
Consumers have rights in Canada when shopping and the CAC is the organisation which oversees this. Customers have the right to a choice, the right to safety of the items that they purchase, the right to be heard if they have an issue, the right to have any problems corrected and the right to a sustainable environment. Customers who are not able to have their problems adequately solved by the supplier or the manufacturer can ask for the help of the CAC. If you need to make a complaint you should supply as much information about the faulty item or the incident in writing.
CAC National Office
436 Gilmour Street, 3rd Floor
Phone: (613) 238-2533
Fax: (613) 238-2538
Post Office Box:
P.O. Box 9300
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