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Special Contributors - Newest Articles
Harassment: how to ensure your company is clean
Alixe McRae
Written by Alixe MacRae   

ImageHarassment has been in the news a lot lately. A venerable university, Pennsylvania State University (commonly called Penn State), our own Royal Canadian Mounted Police, U.S. presidential candidate Herman Cain and the Roman Catholic Church are among what seems to be an endless list of individuals, companies and institutions that have been accused of either conducting or condoning such boorish, disgusting behaviour in recent years.

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To license or not to license
Other Contributors
Written by Joe Carroll   

ImageIn the 1990's the American furniture industry experienced an onslaught of celebrity designers whose name alone, many manufacturers believed, would draw consumers to buy their product. Several of these lines have endured and brought much success to the companies whose lines they endorsed. Perhaps one of the best examples is the Bob Timberlake line which remains one of the industry's best sellers. Over $1 billion of his furniture has been sold since his line was first introduced by Lexington Furniture in 1990.

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Reducing expenses and the bottom line
Donald Cooper
Written by Donald Cooper   

ImageReducing expenses by just 5% can improve your bottom line by as much as 20% to 30%. Don't take my word for it, do the math. By removing the paint from each of their air freight 747s, Cathay Pacific Airlines saved $200,000 in fuel, per plane per year. By switching from serving bacon all the same length to bacon of uneven lengths Marriott Hotels saved $2 million a year.

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The most popular four letter word
Alixe McRae
Written by Alixe MacRae   

ImageIt's not often our industry makes the news. Recently, it did. But not for the reasons most of those of us working in the industry would like to see. A Montreal-based consumer rights group, Option consommateurs, filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau severely criticizing eight national and regional retailers and accused them of misleading advertising. The findings are generally fair and reasonable - at first glance.

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Game changers at retail
Other Contributors
Written by Joe Carroll   

ImageI am going to renege on last month's promise that my last column would be my last word on the "Game Changers" - the innovations in manufacturing, retailing and marketing that have been powerful influences on the furniture industry. Indeed, much of their influence can still be felt. Due to the deluge of e-mails I've received in recent weeks suggesting other equally important game changers I feel obligated to put a few more on the record.

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Screw the castle, provide the service
Alixe McRae
Written by Alixe MacRae   

ImageI visited the Sears store in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre the other day. It was a complete mess; the escalators were not working, there were racks in the aisles and there were curtains strung about hiding the activity. I asked an associate what was going on. He replied "a major renovation."

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