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Sassy Blake

PriceSmart-new answer to old issue--Pet products

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I've been out of country for several months.  Upon my return I had an email exchange with Melissa Twohey of PriceSmart about the new Member's Selection pet food line, as I was going to be introducing it to my canines and felines.

In a nutshell, without recounting the "back and forth" conversation, she said, " Our supplier has developed a special strain of probiotics to help with digestive health for dogs, as this is a big concern for owners.  What is special about this probiotic is that it is a strain specific to canines.  Really hard to communicate that on the packaging!  But there it is…and they’ve done lots of research to make sure it is effective and that it survives in the digestive track of the dogs, which is key for probiotics.  Our supplier of Member’s Selection is incredibly focused on quality, and has the knowledge to back it up."

My comment to her was that I mix the Kirkland with the Member's Selection, and she said I am basically duplicating, since the supplier is totally familiar with Kirkland and it's benefits, and Member's Selection has everything Kirkland has, plus the probiotics.  "Regarding Kirkland Pet Food – our intention is to activate the KS Salmon/Sweet Potato Formula (grain free) as our ultimate premium dog food offering."  

So to clarify/summarize:  "The current Kirkland items that we offer are pretty much a duplication of our new Member’s Selection program."   PriceSmart will be introducing the Kirkland Salmon/Sweet Potato Formula (grain free) as the premium dog food offering.

Regarding the Kirkland cat food v.s. the Member's Selection cat food:  I did a price comparison yesterday while in the store.  Kirkland is $1.91+ per kilo (11.34 kilo bags), Member's Selection is $1.73+ per kilo (7 kilo bags).  My cats like them equally well.  Switching won't be a problem in my household. 

Also, even though it was some months back, she wanted to assure the Members that, "PriceSmart experienced a temporary shortage in Fresh Step Cat Litter due to a production issue.  We will continue to offer our members both Fresh Step and Member’s Selection Cat Litter at PriceSmart locations."  She was very apologetic for the inconvenience.
 

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This is what I posted on PriceSmart's FB page:

Shopping at PriceSmart in David is a nightmare. (1) Never enough cajas open. 25 or more customers have to wait in each line that is open.
(2) Terrible inventory control. Wonderful products may appear once, never to be seen again. Such as avocado oil and many more items. (3) I rescue a lot of dogs and feed them Kirkland or Members Select kibble. It may or may not be available. Last time I was at the store, there was NO puppy chow of either brand. (The other brands are junk.) (4) I also feed my dogs a lot the 5-lb. rolls of ground turkey. Last time I was at PriceSmart, none of that was available either. Every time I shop at PriceSmart, at least half of the items I have on my shopping list are not available (that have been available in the past).

Comprar en PriceSmart en David es una pesadilla. (1) Nunca se abren suficientes cajas. 25 o más clientes tienen que esperar en cada línea abierta.
(2) Terrible control de inventario. Productos maravillosos pueden aparecer una vez, nunca más volver a verse. Como el aceite de aguacate y mucho mas. (3) Rescato a muchos perros y los alimento Kirkland o Miembros Select kibble. Puede o no estar disponible. La última vez que estuve en la tienda, NO había comida para cachorros de ninguna marca. (Las otras marcas son basura.) (4) También alimento mucho a mis perros los 5 lb. rollos de pavo molido. La última vez que estuve en PriceSmart, nada de eso estaba disponible tampoco. Cada vez que compro en PriceSmart, al menos la mitad de los artículos que tengo en mi lista de compras no están disponibles.

 

Edited by Dottie Atwater
addition

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Valid comments. I’ve complained several times to PriceSmart about long lines at cashier station. No consideration for customers! ☹️

Wish that place had inventory control. I’m still waiting for items that haven’t been available for several months. Their explanation is “I don’t know” when I inquire.

We’re trying to shop at this store less and less frequently. Just easier shopping someplace else.

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Folks who find the annoyance of shopping at Pricesmart to be greater than the convenience can always source other suppliers and take their business elsewhere.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Agree at times there can be very long lines, and O.O.S, especially on weekends! ( Crazy to even drive by the store on the weekends) We usually go early morning Wed or Thursday and  80% of the time a piece of cake. But, Shhhhh. Don't tell everybody! 😎

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Anyone know what’s going on with the PriceSmart parking lot construction activities? Maybe new lights?

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1 hour ago, Keith Woolford said:

Folks who find the annoyance of shopping at Pricesmart to be greater than the convenience can always source other suppliers and take their business elsewhere.

I think that's what a lot of people are doing, except when they need something that only PriceSmart has (sometimes!). Like the 5-lb. rolls of frozen ground turkey and the Kirkland and/or Member's Select dog food (sometimes!). 

For people who live in David, it's easy to run back and forth to see if an out-of-stock item has arrived. But I live in Volcan, a two-hour round trip.

The long lines are an annoyance secondary to the poor inventory control.

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Hang in, Dottie. As the number of customers declines the long checkout lines will disappear.

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I bet that many gringos don't realize that what they want to see stocked at Price Smart are not necessarily the items that Panamanians buy. No store can continue to stock items that don't sell to 80% of their clientele. People need to take a wider world view especially when you're living as a minority in a country not your birth country

I was at Price Smart yesterday and the lines were very short and went quickly.  Don't know if PS put on more cashiers or if there were just fewer customers because City Mall has siphoned off some of them. Probably a combination of both.

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6 minutes ago, Penny said:

No store can continue to stock items that don't sell to 80% of their clientele.

Have often wondered why people think that.

How would Panamanians use ground turkey? or Grey Poupon mustard, for that matter?

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Are you saying that gringos can only buy what the locals want because Pricemart will only stock what the locals will buy? How does this resolve the situation?

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3 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

How would Panamanians use ground turkey?

I have noticed more Panamanians shopping here and fewer gringos.

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2 minutes ago, BlueBird said:

Pricemart will only stock what the locals will buy?

Pricesmart probably stocks what gives them the highest sales per square foot.

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Not exactly true....as in the case of "sometimes they have it," "sometimes they don't." It's poor inventory control.

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2 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Have often wondered why people think that.

How would Panamanians use ground turkey? or Grey Poupon mustard, for that matter?

I don't know if Panamanians would or would not use ground turkey. The point is that they could sell a lot more of it if they'd have a consistent supply.

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2 minutes ago, Dottie Atwater said:

The point is that they could sell a lot more of it if they'd have a consistent supply.

lol, to you and who else, Dottie?  I've never seen a turkey burger here or anywhere else, although I'm sure they exist..

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44 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

lol, to you and who else, Dottie?  I've never seen a turkey burger here or anywhere else, although I'm sure they exist..

 

El Rey in David has always had turkey burgers and I've seen them at Pricesmart too.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Pricesmart probably stocks what gives them the highest sales per square foot.

If this store only wants Panamanian customers (looks like it) then gringos should take note and shop at other stores.

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great american made turkey burgers, veggie burger and hamburgers in el rey. i have never found them out of this product. "bubba burgers". turn left after entering store and last chest type freezer on the right in the isle.

Edited by Hil

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Well, as I said, I get the 5-lb. turkey rolls at PriceSmart (when available) for my dogs.  If they only wanted to stock what Panamanians want, and if they figure Panamanians don't want the turkey rolls, they wouldn't stock them at all. Again, the sporadic availability (of that and many other items) is their problem of poor inventory control.

Edited by Dottie Atwater
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9 hours ago, Hil said:

great american made turkey burgers, veggie burger and hamburgers in el rey. i have never found them out of this product. "bubba burgers". turn left after entering store and last chest type freezer on the right in the isle.

Thanks, we'll give them a try.

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Dottie, I have dogs too, and I never thought of using the turkey for them.  That said, I use the same 5 lb ground turkey rolls too.  My freezer is stocked with them when they ever come in!  I spice it up and make spaghetti sauce, taco meat, meatloaf, and anything else that ground beef is used for (except hamburgers).  Here are some great turkey sausage recipes.  They were published in the newspaper many years ago, and we really like the "basic turkey sausage". 

 

Turkey Sausage.pdf

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I usually buy at least 8 at a time--as you said, when they are available. For this and other things, why doesn't PriceSmart have a decent inventory control.

The many things that appear once, never to be seen again---well, those things sold so it means that people buy them. I read one  time at a particular supermarket, an employee was asked why they didn't have a particular item now. The reply was "they sold out so fast that we quit stocking them." Duh!

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I have to agree with Dottie on the matter of inventory control systems at PriceSmart. Inadequate, under used, not well understood, or possibly non-existent. Who knows why?

We really do not like the drive to David., but we had to go yesterday for several business needs (not just going to PriceSmart). We like Tuesdays at PriceSmart because those days tend to be less crowded and thus shorter checkout lines.

It turned out that PriceSmart did not have three of the items on our shopping list. Two of the items are things that really should be available all the time (IMO): paper dinner napkins, and baguettes. The third item was the spritzer bottles that are used to dispense cleaning liquids; we could understand and accept those bottles not being in stock. But not having napkins and baguettes???

At least our other errands in David were successful.

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