Several Canadian shoppers are crying foul, saying a U.S. mall misled them when it offered "at par" sales this past long weekend.
The deal was meant to entice Vancouverites to shop across the border at the Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham, Wash. At least 20 stores, including Macy's, JCPenny and Gap, were advertised as accepting the loonie at par with the U.S. greenback.
However, the fine print for the promotion states the discount is applied in the form of a percentage off at point of sale, and would not exceed 25 per cent. The retailers were not accepting Canadian currency at par, but gave the discount to shoppers who showed Canadian ID
Some of the cross-border shoppers did not like what they saw and took to social media to vent.
Mall apologizes for confusion
The mall's social media team responded to some upset shoppers, adding it apologized for the confusion. It also said the mall had a Canadian currency exchange booth set up at one of its kiosks for customer convenience.
@JB_Ratel When making a purchase at participating retailers at Bellis Fair, shoppers are being given a 25% discount.— @BellisFair
@JB_Ratel We have Canadian Currency Exchange set up at one of our kiosks in the middle of the mall by Victoria's Secret.— @BellisFair
@cmansueto We thought this event was explained very clearly. Not sure where the miscommunication is coming from. Our apologies.— @BellisFair
In an earlier interview with CBC, Bellis Fair estimated it had lost about 25 per cent of its Canadian traffic compared with two years ago when the loonie was above 90 cents US.
The idea of the "at par" promotion was conceived by Bellis Fair's senior general manager, René Morris.
"I just thought, how can we help our Canadian shoppers?" she said. "They want to come, but the loonie is low."