Shoppers Drug Mart Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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3.3
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Shoppers Drug Mart President & CEO Domenic Pilla
Domenic Pilla
83 Ratings

Pros
  • 30% discount on regular priced items (in 29 reviews)

  • The discount is great, the software is easy, the tasks are repetitive, and the ability to move departments within a single store is amazing (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • Head office knows about the issue but will not change it (in 16 reviews)

  • Labour hours are often inadequate, customer service is poor as a result (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

428 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Exactly what you expect if you just want a no frills cashier job.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Pharmacy Technician in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Pharmacy Technician in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    We can purchase some of the high end lines of cosmetics (e.g. No. 7, Jouviance, Clarins, Lancome) that they carry for a discount. We know exactly which sale items are a really good deal and always get first pick once a shipment comes in.

    Cons

    Pay, compensation, and benefits package does not match what other Canadian competitors are paying. Also you really really REALLY rely on the people you work with to keep your mood up. A few years ago, we used to be able to purchase products at cost and collect the promotional points (e.g. 10x or 20x the points events), but they stopped that. Now, we still get an employee discount but it's no longer at cost, and when there are promotional points events, you have to choose either to get the employee discount and get regular points, or purchase items at retail to get the promotional points. If you are ambitious, this is not the place to work.

    Advice to Management

    They should provide better job descriptions and training to staff so that they know what level of performance is expected of them instead of having people from other departments doing their jobs for them.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Only if you have no alternative.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cosmetician in Hamilton, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Cosmetician in Hamilton, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The 30% discount is great. Cosmeticians have lots of perks like paid vendor training, bonuses for meeting/exceeding goals, gifts from reps who want you to push their product.

    Cons

    Very clique-y. Pharmacy won't speak to cosmetics, cosmetics won't speak to front shop, management only speaks to management (unless they want you to do something). Seriously, the lunch/break room is like a high school cafeteria. If you have a decent cosmetics manager, it can be great (I've heard wondeful things about the managers at other stores). Unfortunately, my manager kept 90% of OUR bonuses and gifts for herself. Not good for morale at all.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff. I approached a FSM about some concerns I had on several occassions and, in the middle of explaining myself, he sloughed it off, said he'd look into it, and walked away while I was mid-sentence.


  3. Helpful (2)

    It used to be a great place to work, now? not so much

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cosmetician
    Current Employee - Cosmetician
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    My fellow employees were great and I loved my discount.

    Cons

    I always had trouble with improper hours on my paycheques, every single pay period I was shorted hours. When I worked night shifts my breaks weren't covered because there weren't enough staff on the floor, so I was often told I couldn't have a break. Not impressed with the whole "wage freeze" for a year.

    Advice to Management

    Head office needs to keep tabs on how employees are being treated, because the morale in my store was very low. People are very unhappy and stressed.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    SDM is a company that's lost old values of people worth and contribution.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Prominate figure in the community Plenty of variety of goods Always developing for improvement

    Cons

    These are franchises and operate on their own forgetting about how they represent the whole company. Have become age biased; just young people Store's managements personalities make hiring decisions; not professional evaluations SDM has lost touch with the old 'values and beliefs'; staff doesn't count much anymore. Developed a nasty clique intercity; prone to blackballing

    Advice to Management

    It's time to go back to the old ways in one respect; that it's the employees that make the difference! Each store is NOT alone and represents Shoppers Drug Mart as a whole. One store DOES NOT MAKE A LITTLE KINGDOM! BEWARE of age discrimination; it's illegal. Just because YOU think that you won't get caught; doesn't mean you will never! The laws are getting strict; penalties and publicity are harsh and deserved! If blackballing is proved, ( don't believe that it always can't be, damaging lawsuits can be incurred)! Stores' management SHOULD NOT base any decisions for the the store, hiring, etc., based on their personalities; ie, their biasness, prejudice, or anything else that isn't professional conduct in the job capacities that they hold. THEY MUST BE OPENMINDED AND WILLING TO ACCEPT AND FOLLOWING THE LAW! AGAIN, age discrimination or any other discrimination is illegal. Too many of these 'little kingdoms', forget that. REMEMBER, they represents Shoppers Drug Mart as a whole! If they mess up; so does the rest of the company!!!!!


  6. Helpful (2)

    Don't do it, it isn't what you think baby.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cosmetician in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - Cosmetician in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Easy to get a job, more traffic than a department store, lots of locations to choose from. Used to be fun. OK for a first job.

    Cons

    Shoppers Drug Mart used to be a good place to work, but that has changed. They want people to work harder for less money, the goals are unrealistic and you are penalized when you can't reach the unattainable goals. They frequently treat employees like crap; the morale is incredibly low and even the managers look beaten down. Customers are frequently angry because there aren't enough people to assist them and because SDM replace known brands with their own knockoffs. Employees used to get cost on products, now they get only 30% off. BEWARE-take care to select a location with a good associate/owner. The owner is always the head pharmacist and if he or she isn't a good manager then the morale for everybody is negatively impacted. This is not a great company for a career, most people burn out and leave.

    Advice to Management

    Start treating people with respect. You preach it but you don't do it.


  7. No real power at store level

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager
    Current Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Annual conference in some exotic locale- with only an afternoon as personal time. Family not allowed to attend conference. Conference alternates between somewhere warm and an exciting canadian city, like Toronto.

    Cons

    Head office makes all the decisions, no real role for associate or front store manager other than to shovel the cr*p downhill. Associate is a salaried employee pharmacist with a legal contract and a convuluted profit sharing arrangement. Hard for the store to make "profit"- and thus a bonus- because the targets are shifted upwards without any store level consultation; service fees and rent (to head office) goes up. Store is in the top 30% of stores in the district and still not making a profit based on their common year plan formula- head office is turning massive profits. Doesn't add up. No mechanism to voice concerns- discussions are pushed offside if brought up at regional meetings, district managers and VPs do not return calls and do not respond to concerns by email. Passive/ agressive style of head office management; intimidating and not inspired to do your best. Hours are cut for staff at the busiest time of year, results in poor customer service and loss of the best employees. Store level management is expected to pick up the slack. Poor quality of store building & systems- brand new store is drafty, too cold in winter, too hot in summer. Buildings are completed too quickly and workmanship is poor. I believe that SDM is poised for a big stock selloff in the next year or two- balance sheet looks impressive, but store level conditions are dismal. Buyer beware.

    Advice to Management

    Let the local store decide what works for their community. Office support should assist the local store, not run it.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Disillusioned

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - FSM
    Current Employee - FSM
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Discount, regular paycheck. reasonably safe

    Cons

    Demands are becoming more and more unreasonable, Infinity was hailed as a saviour when in actual fact it is all about cutting hours and maximizing profits for the share holders. At branch level as a manager I feel I am being hung out to dry. The wage freeze was bad enough the first time around but to have to go in and communicate it a second time was embarassing when we as managers are being whisked off to Cancun for a conference next month. The bonus structure is such now that it is all but impossible to get anywhere near the results required for what in the scale of things is an insulting amount compared to the effort we have to put in every week. Having just been through another holiday season and having hours cut again to ensure we reach those over promissed and over optimistic results we are all extremely tired and down, and need a little encouragement rather than the crap that is being sent down the line at present, with constant threats and criticism. There are not enough hours in the day to do the job we are payed to do, I consistently work a 55-60 hour week to try to maintain the standards required but am becoming increasingly tired and fed up with the constant criticism and lack of recognition for the difference I make on a daily basis. The reason I turn up for work everyday? I still believe I can make a difference.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the effort your front store people make on a daily basis, at the front end we get crap from both sides, it is up to you to motivate your teams and not continually send threats via your Diistrict Managers. I have always been proud to say that I was a Shoppers Manager, and would love to stay of that opinion, so do your jobs at HO and make sure that I can. Offer the same commitment to us as you do to the share holders.


  9. Driven by greed

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Cashier Supervisor
    Current Employee - Cashier Supervisor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoy keeping the store tidy and well-stocked and I enjoy helpful customers. Unlike the newer stores, ours is of a small size well integrated into the neighbourhood, and I get to know regular customers, which is nice. My immediate manager is very amiable.

    Cons

    Infinity was nothing more than a ruse to cut hours and squeeze more work out of an already barebones workforce. The wage freeze was ridiculous; the company is making record profits. Communication with staff from upper management is poor. When I worked at Atlantic Wholesalers (Loblaw division) we received newsletters, visits from management, etc that were very helpful. The quality of the merchandise has also diminished; some aisles are beginning to look like a dollar store. They send us too many freestanding promo displays for our store size and customers complain that the place looks cluttered and dingy, and it is hard to manoeuvre a cart. The only contact the average employee has with upper management is rather condescending - i.e. a large poster in the staff room about employee theft. I am trying to work my way through university and I don't think it is reasonable to pay an employee of two years, a supervisor, minimum wage. I would have been better off staying with my former employer. I worked several times in the newer, big-box style stores, and the situation there is even worse. Understaffed and stressful. It is obvious Shoppers management of the past decade has one thing on the mind: money.

    Advice to Management

    Focus less on profits and more on improving the experience for both employees and customers.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Very stressful place to work, you always feel that the axe is going to come down on you at anytime.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - FSM in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Former Employee - FSM in Toronto, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The pay is competitive and the new stores are very nice.

    Cons

    You are micro managed, they are not looking for managers. If you are a good merchandiser and dont mind working six days a week and enjoy getting put down every time you get a visit this is the place for you. This was the worse job I have ever had, unless there is a culture change fast it will start to effect sales. Most managers are burned out, but the company really doesent care, they know this but will not do anything to change and are to self absorbed.

    Advice to Management

    Practice what you preach. Change your culture or you will find it more difficult to fill these positions when times get better. I am sure you do not like to get treated poorly so why treat your managers this way, they are your front line people, in most complanies they look for ways to improve the customer experience however Shoppers has lost touch. Too bad, the compeition will jump all over this and customers will figure it out.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Head office is running the company into the ground.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Some nice people there....but they are vanishing fast. Usually get paid on pay day. Your job is fairly secure if you keep your mouth shut and are willing to work for less than you would make elsewhere.

    Cons

    Super short staffed, and more cuts are coming. You have to work alone, sometimes you won't see another staff member for hours. The harder you work the more work gets dumped on you. If you are a hard worker, they will schedual you for 7 days a week, and double shifts until you burn out. You won't be paid overtime if you work a double shift, and if the "overtime(extra)" isn't approved, you won't be paid a penny for the extra hours. Your pay is docked if you punch in late, take a couple of extra minutes on a break, or punch out a couple of minutes early. Since the stores are so under staffed,if you have to call in sick, don't expect any sympithy when you come back, and if you call in sick more than once the rest of the staff will start to hate you, since one person missing puts additional stress on everyone one in the store. Expect to get injured on the job, there is lots of heavy lifting, and you are expected to race and disregard your own safety. When you hurt yourself, you will be told to buy some aspirins and get back to work. You have remember to keep your mouth shut, especially when you see how unfairly some people are treated, you have to remenber that some of the staff are family and friends of the owner and the FSM, and they play by a totally different set of rules.

    Advice to Management

    I don't see anything changing until the sales drop quite a bit more. You can only blame the front line staff for so long until the shareholders realize that the executives are running the company into the ground. I suppose when to pay yourself 2.7 million a year... you just don't have to think long term.



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