Starting today, you can get a free $25 gift card from Loblaws.
The Canadian retailer is offering customers free money as a goodwill gesture after admitting the company participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement.
In late December, Loblaw and George Weston Ltd. said they became aware of an arrangement to co-ordinate retail and wholesale prices on some packaged breads from late 2001 until March 2015. In response, the company has launched a website where customers can register for a $25 gift card, which can be used at any Loblaw Co. store, including Loblaws, Provigo, Valu-Mart and No Frills.
So how do you apply to get $25 worth of free groceries?
To be eligible, users must be the age of majority or older in their province (18 years old in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Québec, or Saskatchewan, 19 years old elsewhere) and have bought bread products from a Loblaw Co. retailer between Jan. 1, 2002 and March 1, 2015.
You can use the free $25 at any Loblaws, or any Loblaws-operated stores.
In Ontario: Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-mart, Fortinos, Zehrs, Bloor Street Market, Independent City Market, Cash and Carry, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Wholesale Club, Your Independent Grocer.
Elsewhere in Canada: Atlantic Superstore, Cash & Carry, Club Entrepot, Dominion (in Newfoundland and Labrador), Extra Foods, Maxi, Maxi & Cie, Presto, Provigo, Provigo Le Marche.
If you aren't keen on using the card yourself, it seems Loblaws will send a card directly to a cause you designate. On December 20th, Toronto Star columnist Gail Vaz-Oxlade tweeted: "Everybody. Absolutely everybody in Canada. Sign up. Then send your cards to the food bank."
In response, Loblaws has stated: "At this point, our focus is entirely on customer trust and making sure we can efficiently put money in the hands of our individual customers. That said, we think it’s a lovely idea, as we’re already a leading contributor to food charities nationwide. With the card in hand, customers could easily buy food for themselves or for a food bank.”
The company has has also said that accepting the gift card will not prevent customers from pursuing other forms of compensation. "Registering for and obtaining the $25 Loblaw Card will not affect customers' right to participate in any class action or to receive any incremental compensation that may be awarded by the court," the company said.
In its terms and conditions, Loblaws also notes the card can't be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco, and it can't be reimbursed for cash.
So when can you get yours? The gift cards will arrive by mail within six weeks of registration, according to the company, though in some cases it could take up to 12 weeks. The cards have no expiry date.
The easiest way to obtain a free $25 gift card is right here, but customers can also request registration by mail, or through a toll-free number available on the website.