Well just when you thought grocery giant Loblaws was turning a corner ... great ad campaign promoting no name brands in these economic times, better produce, better store layout, fresh food stations – they had to get a vermin problem!
Yup, that’s right, as of last night the Loblaws at Dupont and Christie (where I do a lot of lunch shopping during the week) has closed down due to a major rat infestation. How did I find out? Not through the papers, or a tweet, but by showing up and witnessing a gaggle of reporters and cameras outside their doors. My partner Gerry was at the store today doing his regular lobster bisque soup run (I think they make the best lobster bisque in the city!) when he couldn’t get in. He thought it was due to a robbery, but no, something worse, vermin.
Sadly, Loblaws has been mum on the situation and there was no sign of a press relations officer at the scene, leaving it to employees to handle media and talk to angry customers. The last thing you want is a health inspector telling media the infestation is 'serious.' And that's what happened.
PR 101 – if you’re a leading brand in the food business and health inspectors shut you down to due to rats or mice, my best advice is to plant a spokesperson ASAP and get some information out there. Good or bad, people need to know what’s going on and what next steps are.
I’m sure they will clean up the rat infestation problem soon, scrub the place clean and it will be back in business in no time.
I just have one question? In these harsh economic times, were those “no name” rats on the premises?