A Woolworths employee has revealed the answer to one of the most asked questions by savvy supermarket shoppers: What time should you shop to score markdown specials?
Commenting on a post asking that exact question in Facebook budgeting group Retail Reductions Australia, the store’s employee shared exactly when prices on particular items are reduced.
She explained that different items get reduced at different times of the day, so depending on what items you need will determine when you should shop.
“I work at Woolworths and I do bread markdowns at 7pm every night,” she revealed.
“I also do produce, meat and dairy. But they also do markdowns in the morning as well, not sure what time because I work night shifts.
“There’s also a possibility that other stores do it at different times of the day.”
Another person commented saying that morning markdowns happen in-store before 11 am.
While these times may apply to some stores, other supermarket employees shared that other stores have no set time for markdowns. The price reductions just depend on the store and stock levels.
“I work at a major supermarket, there is no set time,” one employee said.
“I see people with these awesome markdowns, comment on what a bargain they’ve got and good on them.
“It’s pretty much pot luck with markdowns.”
Meanwhile, Coles and Woolworths shoppers suggested getting to know your local store’s habits.
“The store manager or department manager in each and every store has their own routines,” one shopper said.
“Just get to know your local store’s habits.”
There’s one sure way to bag a markdown bargain
But despite there being no set time, there is one sure way to know when to score a special markdown price - just ask.
A third Woolworths employee commented on the post saying that one way to guarantee picking up a markdown special is to ask your local store manager.
“I’m a grocery manager and my husband is a fresh 2ic with Woolies and both handling markdowns/stock loss,” she said.
“By you asking and coming in for a bargain at that time it helps assure sales of markdown lines and less stock loss/still good food going in the bin so to speak.”
She went on to add that building up a relationship with your local supermarket managers is “great for your back pocket”.
“Chances are they see that many faces each day and won’t even be phased by you asking or it will build a relationship so to speak and if they see you in shopping may go out of their way to tell you about the bargains,” she said.
“I know a few of my locals and often tell them what we’ve got marked down that day/week.”
The supermarkets markdown process explained
A Woolworths spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia that markdowns happen at different times across stores nationally based on stock levels and demand.
"Like all food retailers, we work hard to minimise waste by ordering the right level of stock to meet customer demand," a Woolworths spokesperson said.
"From time to time, we do find ourselves with excess stock, which is why we have markdown processes and food diversion partnerships in every store to avoid sending food to landfill."
Coles has shares a similar markdown policy.
“We know our customers love good value so when a product is near its Best Before date we often mark it down so it can be enjoyed for a cheaper price, instead of being wasted,” a Coles spokesperson said.
“Markdowns do not uniformly take place at the same time across all stores. There are many things that can impact when this takes place including stock on hand, delivery schedules, and team member rostering.”
Excess stock donated to food rescue charities
The supermarket markdown process is also impacted by their relationships with food banks.
While particular types of food are marked down in store for shoppers, other food types are donated and distributed to charitable organisations to limit food waste.
"Surplus food is donated to our food rescue partners OzHarvest, FoodBank and FareShare, along with local farmers and more, to be put to good use," a Woolworths spokesperson said.
"In the past year, the equivalent of over 20 million meals have been donated to our food rescue partners and more than 35 tonnes of surplus food was donated to hunger relief partners, local farmers, zoos, wildlife carers and commercial composters."
Since 2011 Coles has donated the equivalent of 144 million meals to Australians in need in conjunction with not-for-profit organisation, SecondBite.
“We already divert 79 per cent of our waste from landfill, including 65 per cent diversion of food waste, ahead of the Australian Government’s National Food Waste Strategy which sets a goal to halve food waste by 2030,” Coles Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Officer Thinus Keeve said.
“We are continuing our focus on food waste particularly through our longstanding partnership with food rescue organisation SecondBite.
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