Self-checkouts at the grocery store are still a pain

But grocers are compelled to keep introducing technological solutions to improve the shopping experience

Self-checkouts at the grocery store are still a painGrocers have always had a love-hate relationship with technology, which may explain why most of our self-checkout experiences are poor. But change is on the way. Some Canadians detest going to the grocery store. It’s repetitive, tiring and can be quite unpleasant, especially when the store is busy. Picking up groceries and lugging them home…

When customer service isn’t enough

Lack of clarity, training, measurement, accountability and rewards all impact sales

When customer service isn’t enoughI’m sure that you’ve suffered through an experience of poor customer service. You don’t have to look far these days to realize that many businesses put low value on treating customers well. Recently, however, I was working with a company on improving their customer service. It quickly became apparent that their customer service was great…

Grocers finally join the blockchain party and consumers should rejoice

The idea is to better manage food recalls, farm to fork and back, and to tackle the intricate issue of food fraud

Grocers finally join the blockchain party and consumers should rejoiceWalmart, the largest retailer in the world, recently notified its leafy green suppliers that they will need to use blockchain by the end of next year. Walmart is banking on its relationship with IBM to put pressure on the entire sector to comply with what consumers want from the food industry: more transparency. But others…

Why being bitten by a dog was more pleasant than your customer service

How many times do your customers leave your business because you’ve trained your staff to guard your products but not sell them?

Why being bitten by a dog was more pleasant than your customer serviceI had just climbed the steepest part of the hill and was out of breath when out of the corner of my eye I saw the dog sprinting out of the driveway towards me. My heart was already racing and I was doing my best to stay on my bike when I felt its teeth…

Are good salespeople manipulative?

The best sales traits include caring for customers, asking great questions, following a system and being persistent

Are good salespeople manipulative?The snow in 1979 was record breaking and it was still piled high in our yard late into the spring. My brother Rob was so anxious to see the green grass that he decided to sell the snow. He drafted a sign and put it in the front snowbank. He was determined to sell it…

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanity

A household calamity, an accommodating retailer, some dirty and hard work, and a twofold payoff at the end

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanityThis time of year, one of my country morning rituals is cleaning last night’s ashes from the fireplace and laying the beginnings of this evening’s fire. We have what is now considered an old fireplace – it has a brick-lined fire chamber with a small rectangular ash-emptying door in the centre of the fireplace floor.…

Tim Hortons: the killing another of Canadian icon

Parent company RBI’s international expansion plans may well be behind the heartless Tim Hortons policies in Canada

Tim Hortons: the killing another of Canadian iconDestroying Canadian business icons seems to be a trend. In 2017, it was Sears. While employees were losing their pensions because of poor management, lawyers and consultants were receiving millions as the business was shutting down. Several Canadian retail icons have crumbled due to weak managerial strategies, from Eaton’s to Sears. Most closures, though, have…

Amazon and the slow death of the traditional grocery store

The Amazon effect has Loblaws and others reimagining their businesses. Consumers will have greater choice and convenience – from their homes

Amazon and the slow death of the traditional grocery storeThe bricks-and-mortar food retailing model is losing its lustre in Canada. The signs are everywhere. Loblaws is the latest grocer to commit to home delivery. Starting in December, the leading food retailer in Canada has an ambitious plan to deliver food for a fee from coast to coast. The company has spent millions to make…

Costco finds a willing and growing market in Canada

Same-store Canadian sales are up 8 per cent – higher than in any other country in which Costco operates. And the future looks even brighter

Costco finds a willing and growing market in CanadaUnless you’re there on a Saturday, constantly trying to avoid collisions with oversized shopping carts, you probably like Costco, even though it will cost you more to shop there as of June. The basic membership fee is going up by $5 to $60, while premium folks will have to pay $120, up from $110. Paying to spend is…

What happens when a retail giant flexes its muscles

Walmart and Visa face off in a battle over transaction fees that could dramatically alter the retail food landscape in this country

What happens when a retail giant flexes its musclesFood politics is usually a game of nuances. But in the battle between Walmart and Visa, nuances are few and far between. Visa is offering $10 to anyone in Manitoba who buys groceries using their Visa card. Walmart stopped accepting Visa as of Oct. 24 in the province. So the credit card company wants to hit the retail giant…