I’ve Been Hosed

So, I realize I must have tempted fate last week saying everything was so, SO great yada, yada, yada.

This sad tale starts when I went to Shoppers Drug Mart to get some pantyhose. I know the aisle (aisle 1), my size (size never-you-mind), my brand (Secret). I’m in, I’m out of that store in less than 5 minutes. Except, this time, as I approached the location of my pantyhose, I got a feeling of foreboding. It looked different somehow. As I got closer my foreboding was taken over by full on anguish.

All the Secret pantyhose had been removed from the shelf. All that remained was an entire wall of some new brand I’d never heard of called “Allude” which is apparently the new Shoppers Drug Mart house label.

What a dumb name for hosiery.

AND not only THAT, but instead of the usual plastic and cardboard affair that hosiery is usually packaged in, they’ve gone that extra distance and put the cardboard and plastic inside a box. Because that’s what’s popular these days is extra packaging.

But of course they haven’t changed the shelving, just shoved these boxes into what used to contain much thinner envelopes.

So, I’m game. I locate what should be the equivalent of what I usually get both in size and colour. I can’t get the box out of the shelf because it’s wedged in so tightly and won’t bend. So far I’m not impressed with the new direction Shoppers is taking.

The tight wedging motif continued at home.

I put them on. Well, tried to put them on. I now this is a shocker, but they didn’t fit. After wrestling with them for a few minutes I finally get them on although the waistband is sitting about two inches below my waist and my self-esteem has very handily been flushed down the toilet. Then, the seam tears, and a run starts down the leg.

And as Fiddledee might say, I owed the cuss jar a whole lot of money. If we had a cuss jar. What I have is a four and 11/12ths year old that gets a shocked look on his face and says “You just said a bad word.” or in this case “a whole lot of bad words.”

These Allude pantyhose have the texture of wearing cardboard that’s been bent a bunch of times to make it flexible and mold it into a shape.

The only happy part of the experience is that there was a 100% satisfaction guarantee or money back stamped on the extraneous packaging.

And that is just how mad I was, that the next day I stomped back into Shoppers Drug Mart, demanded my money back and gave the poor returns girl an earful about all the things that were wrong with these pantyhose. To her credit, she was very gracious, gave my money back without a fuss and pretended like she really wanted to hear all my griping because “they really need feedback on the new label.”

(Sidebar: It’s official, I’ve become a senior citizen. And not the sweet little old lady who bakes cookies for the lifeguards at the pool because they work so hard. Oh no. I am the senior citizen that demands the newspaper delivery person put the newspaper headline side up, hinge side towards the door, on the middle of the welcome mat in a plastic bag but NOT with a rubber band, and god help that poor person if he treads on my lawn in the process. Old woman, yells at cars. That is how I’ll be known in this town.)

I feel totally justified in raging against a corporation because they’ve decided to get on the house label bandwagon and mess with the way things are, otherwise known as the way I like it. I just hate these stores that can’t just buy off the supply chain, but also have to BE the supply chain. For instance, continuing my hosiery motif, I can no longer find the Balega brand of socks I like (Hidden Comfort) because every store I go into seems to have mainly their own brand of socks with the occasional concession to Nike or Adidas, and their house labels are nothing like the Balega brand I like.

Allude, Western Family, President’s Choice, Expressions, Kirkland, Joe’s, Life. This whole house label thing is rampant. It makes no business sense to me. Why not be known for researching and carrying the highest quality brands or the lowest cost brands or whatever it is you want to be known for? Because when I go into a store and I want some choices and when all you sell is your brand, then I’m going to go do my comparison shopping somewhere else, especially if I’ve had one bad experience with your label.

I also suspect that what’s happening at the other end of the supply chain is that the corporation that wants their own label are grinding the suppliers to provide these items at so close to cost, that the supplier is then forced to cut back on quality lest they go out of business altogether. Hence cardboard tube pantyhose.

And what has Shopper’s Drug Mart gained? They certainly haven’t impressed me with the quality of their label. So, now, in my mind the brand that I associate with  Shoppers Drug Mart is cheap and substandard overpackaged product, and when I need that pantyhose plus the oh, while I’m here I’ll pick up these other 5 things I need, I’m going to London Drugs who still carry the Secret brand.

So there.

My question is this. Why don’t businesses ask their customers what they would like? I know we don’t always know. For instance, I would never have been able to say I want a vacuum that doesn’t lose suction and has a ball for a front wheel before Dyson came on the market. But I for sure would have been able to tell them I don’t care if you have a house label.

I just figured our why the house label thing bothers me. Because it’s ego. It’s more about the business, than the customer. It makes the strategic thinkers at the top look like they’re doing something. The house label is the business putting on a new suit and strutting and preening like a peacock. Look how good we are. Look at what we made. We have a new look. We’re branding ourselves.

Too bad the emperor is wearing no clothes. Just a pair of cardboard tube pantyhose with runs down the leg and a split seam.

About Tentative Equinox North

Theatremaker, Homemaker, Thoughtmaker. Great hair, Probably looking forward to my next nap.
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12 Responses to I’ve Been Hosed

  1. Mari Anne says:

    So… I understand totally, but I am going to point out one benefit of a store brand. I have been ill and finding myself in need of cold meds I was outside Shoppers this morning and went in. I had the choice of numerous national brands. Let’s say I could have chosen a national brand that sold 24 daytime cold tablets and 16 nighttime tablets for around $19.00 or I could choose the store brand that had 24 daytime and 24 nighttime tablets for $10.00. The list of ingredients was pretty much the same.

    I bought the store brand and some M & Ms and still had money left over. Of course I didn’t have to worry about runs, unless of course I ate all the M & Ms at once. 8-)

    • Ha Ha. Nice run pun.

      I object to the store label less when there are other choices as well. However, I maintain that quality is not as high in the store labels. And sometimes that doesn’t matter; if the $10 cold medication works than why not? But sometimes quality makes a great deal of difference.

  2. Another example is Stupidstore’s revamping of their No Name packaging. Ugly yellow boxes. Product name in black. Sometimes a crappy picture of the product. I get it. You spent little money on the package design to keep the price low.

    Oh. But wait.

    “Let’s change the crappy packaging to be even uglier. Nothing says No Name is good quality for your money like really ugly packaging.”

    “Uhh….hey! How about let’s make it….yellow!”

    “And have the name in black….but BOLDER. Yes. BOLDER will be good. OH OH OH! And have a crappy picture on it. But a DIFFERENT crappy picture.”

    “Hey, man….this is going to cost money.”

    “That’s right. Marketing costs money. We’ll just jack up the price of the No Name products.”



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  4. wow i totally agree i bought 2 pairs for halloween thinking this was very safe.NOT the first pair i put on ripped while i was putting them on so knowing i only had one pair left i very very careful put on the second . so now every time i went to the washroom it was almost impossible especially with a couple drinks in u . but i did manage most the night onlt to find that while i was dancing the dumb things ripped in the back like wth i have bought pantyhose from the dollar store that can actually be wore more than once or in some casesmore than just putting them on . i spent almost 20$ on panty hose r u kidding me and have no panty hose to show for it i thought these were gonna be luxury NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  5. Julia says:

    thanks for posting this!!!!!!!

    i just bought pantyhose for a photoshoot today (last minute) from Shoppers, and AS SOON AS I PUT THEM ON THEY RIPPED… very bad quality, as you said, give me my Secret brand back!!!

    Thanks so much for posting, I was about to throw $10 worth of pantyhose to the garbage. Thank got I decided googling it to see if just I’m going crazy or they have a problem to sort out…

    I am going to return them with the first opportunity!

  6. Jennifer says:

    I totally agree on those awful pantyhose Shoppers has decided to bring into their stores (Allude!!!). You can’t even see if the colour is right because of all the packaging it’s in and there are no sample swatches anywhere in sight! I’m not one for ripping open a package to view up close then put it back for someone else to buy.

    I was also a “Secret” fan – just loved those “shapers”.

    Now what they have comes nowhere near Secret’s line of hoses. When I first saw them on the shelf, I thought oh! maybe Secret decided to re-brand. So, I bought a pair – but spent about 10 minutes or more making sure I’d found the right shade for my skin colour. But from my next purchases onward, it’s been a disaster – I think the first batch was just to lure us in because it seems that by the next shipment they changed the quality on us!!!! Thinking we wouldn’t notice!!! Well, since then, almost every pair I’ve put on gets a run immediately or by the end of day and after a few wears, the waitband seems to disappear. One day as I was heading home, the panty area felt a little weird and by the time I got home the whole panty area was down and around the lower part of my bum – good thing I was wearing trousers – that’s what kept them from riding down to my ankles! Their “control tops” and “shaper” models have very little control compared to the “Secret” brand – I was down at least a size when I wore the Secret Shapers!!!

    Shoppers, get rid of that useless brand you’ve brought in and bring back the Secret brand or something just as good! You’ve spent so much money redesigning the store beautifully only to bring in “cheap quality” products like this – the pricing is the same as the Secret brand for such poor quality – go figure! Ladies, lets not buy anymore of these Allude pantyhose (Walmart has Secret!) – I hope a female is not the designer, tester or quality controller on this line! If it is, she should know better!!!!

  7. Amy says:

    Hi there,

    I hate to be a buzz kill but i love this brand, wear it to work almost every day, very smooth and comfortable. only problem i see is the weakness in the backside, which has been mentioned,

    keep up the good work :)

  8. Gina says:

    I tried the allude classic, reinforced panty & toe last week & have worn them 4 times so far. They haven’t run yet & I’m quite surprised because they they seem to feel snugger than the Secret brand that I usually wear in the same size. If I buy Allude pantyhose again I will select a larger size.

  9. Dawn Miles says:

    Thanks for your review of the Allude pantyhose. I just wish I had read it first. I had a wedding to go to and of course as I was getting out the door, I caught my pantyhose on the door and got a run that I couldn’t hide. So I stopped at the nearest Shoppers and bought some of the “Allude Everyday Control Top” style.

    I’ve always been rough on the feet of my pantyhose so I have to buy reinforced toes otherwise they never last more than one or two wearings. These Alludes claimed to have “nylon reinforced toes” but when I put them on, they certainly didn’t feel like reinforced toes, nor did they look like them.

    Sure enough, once the dance floor opened up later in the evening, I took off my shoes do dance with my friends and there was a run in the toes.

    I did like the feel of them, but their reinforcements don’t seem to measure up. :)

  10. Heather says:

    I haven’t had a problem with ripping any more so than any other brand but I do take issue with the fact that they no longer supply size A, being a petite person it’s the only size that fits and now it’s no longer available. They also no longer offer different sizes in every colour/stlye. I don’t know what kind of idiots are running the show but they’ve lost my business.

  11. Rachel says:

    I bought the 10 denier sandalfoot luxury allude pantyhose from the half price bin as well as a 2 pack pair of knee highs ( also 10 denier sandalfoot ). I have been extremely happy with both types and although the knee highs don’t look like a 10 denier sheer ( they look thicker maybe more like a 20 ) they are durable and seem to be lasting well. As for the pantyhose the quality seems good enough and they look and feel a very nice pair of ultra sheers. Worn 4 times already and still feel like new. I may even be back to the half price bin to buy more of these 2 styles.

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