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Sears unveils new logo

25 August 2016
Retail

TORONTO – Sears Canada has unveiled a fresh logo, which the troubled national retailer described as a new look that represents “the most recent development in a series of strategic initiatives to re-invigorate and revitalise Sears Canada across all lines of business from e-commerce to in-store experiences and from merchandise selection and curation to marketing communications.”

The publicly-held, multi-channel retailer noted this is the most dramatic transformation of the logo in 32 years and features the word SEARS in a timeless font with what it describes a “fresh take on the maple leaf, signaling redefined modern era for the brand.”

“We are proud to unveil this symbol of re-invention for Sears Canada,” Brandon G. Stranzl, executive chairman said in a statement. “Sears is changing, and our new logo asserts the modern and streamlined image and consumer experience for which we are striving in-store and online.”

The new Sears Canada logo.The logo made its first public appearance at stores in two Ontario cities that were renovated earlier this summer – the Promenade Mall in Thornhill and the Mapleview Centre in Burlington.

These two stores are the prototype for what the company is calling Sears 2.0, an effort to re-engineer the Sears shopping experience while making the physical stores more productive with a more flexible layout.

Canadians should also see an improved online shopping experience resulting over the coming months, thanks to significant e-commerce enhancements as well as the introduction of new name brand fashion lines boasting both quality and affordable prices.

The company, which employs more than 17,000 Canadians with 154 corporate stores and 106 Hometown stores nationwide, said it is committed to evolving and modernising its business model in order to better compete in Canada's fiercely competitive retail landscape.

It also reported Ontario and Alberta residents will see the new logo appear during store renovation projects and the pilot testing of the new e-commerce site this summer. Canadians across the country can expect to see the new logo later in the fall, when the web site is rolled out nationwide and on newly designed shopping bags, catalogues, and retail store flyers.

However, the new logo wasn’t universally praised. Josh Kolm, a marketing reporter for Strategy, said in a tweet: “The new Sears (Canada) logo: because being boring is better than being ugly.”

Speaking to the Financial Post, Alan Middleton, a professor at Schulich School of Business at York University, said the new logo reflects Sears Canada’s current objectives including its desire to grab a sizeable piece of online retail market in this country while reducing its dependency on its physical stores and shore-up its credibility as a streamlined business.

“I will give Sears Canada 10/10 for the re-invention effort they are putting in,” Middleton was quoted as saying. “They’re coming from a long way behind with ever strong competition from The Bay, Walmart and most importantly the omni-retailers like Amazon and Alibaba.”

The new logo is the fourth significant re-design it has undergone since the company was founded in 1953 and the first since it was renamed Sears Canada in 1984. The company sales and earnings have struggled in recent years, falling by half over the decade the ended with its last fiscal year. However, it is still a major player in the retailing of furniture, mattresses and major appliances with a significant market share in each of these categories.

Related Story: Sears to price-match mattresses, appliances after weak first quarter

Tepperman’s gives $50K to Kitchener area charities

25 August 2016
Community, Retail

KITCHENER, Ontario – To mark the recent grand opening of the fifth store in its regional chain here, Tepperman’s Furniture selected ten well-deserving organisations from across the community as the recipients of its Discover the Difference charity give-away. Each group was to receive a $5,000 donation from the family owned-and-operated retailer.

Founded in 1925, Nate Tepperman – grandfather of the company’s sitting president – began his business by selling household goods door-to-door in the company’s hometown of Windsor, Ontario. Today, the company operates five stores throughout south western Ontario that occupy some 250,000 square feet of selling space and employing over 400 people.

Andrew Tepperman (centre), president of Tepperman’s, is seen here with the representatives of ten local charities and community organisations which received donations of $5,000 each in celebration of the official opening of the company’s new store in Kitchener, Ontario. In a statement, Tepperman’s said community outreach has always been a fundamental part of their ongoing success stores and it was critical this tradition be continued with the expansion into the Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo markets.

“We know that what we do at Tepperman’s in terms of selling products for your home may not be unique. However, we believe the way we do it, including community investment, is unique,” said Andrew Tepperman, third generation president of the company and grandson to the founder.

Announcing the donation program attracted some 60 applications from charities and communities from across the new store’s trading area.

“It was a challenge choosing the ten winners from among the applicants – every organisation had such passion and commitment to their cause,” Tepperman remarked.

The full list of recipients includes: Argus Residence for Young People; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region; Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region; Central Ontario Developmental Riding Program/Pride Stables; KidsAbility Foundation; KW Youth Basketball Association; Nutrition for Learning; Parents for Community Living Kitchener Waterloo; Sports for Special Athletes; and, Strong Start Charitable Organization.

As an added surprise to the 50 organisations who did not win, Tepperman’s donated another $25,000 in gift certificates. The recipients can use them to thank unpaid volunteers, purchase needed furnishings for programming or even raffle them off as fundraising tools.

Related Story: Tepperman’s opens in Kitchener

Goeasy selects Moncton’s Humanity Project for $50K prize

25 August 2016
Community, Retail

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – The Humanity Project, a Moncton charity dedicated to meeting the growing demand for nutritious meals for the New Brunswick city’s working poor and homeless has been named the first recipient of the $50,000 Community Project prize from Goeasy, the parent of Easyhome, the country’s largest big ticket home goods leasing merchant.

The funds will be used to purchase and install industrial cooking equipment and ingredients to help feed more than 4,500 Moncton-area residents every month.

This was the first year the publicly-held company, also the parent of short-term money lender Easyfinancial, ran the Goeasy Community Project, which was development to aid support those looking to create change in their own backyards but nominating local projects for the chance to win $50,000 in funding for their project.

Volunteers at Moncton’s Humanity Project feed an average of 150 people every day. The Goeasy Community Prize will fund the acquisition and installation of the organisation’s new industrial kitchen equipment.The winning project was one of more than 70 entries received from across Canada and was selected as one of the top three finalists in a public voting process. The Humanity Project mobilised local support through their tight-knit community and social media channels to win a Canada-wide voting process.

The company noted in its announcement that public participation was wide spread as Canadians rallied behind the three finalist projects with votes of support coming in from across all regions of the country.

“Our mission is to end homelessness one person at a time,” Shelley Butler, communications lead for the Humanity Project said in the statement. “We are doing amazing with what we have, making sure that our homeless and our working poor are being fed on a daily basis, but there is so much more we can be doing.

“With $50,000 in new funding from Goeasy, we can dramatically improve our kitchen and the number of people we can help,” she continued. “What Goeasy has helped us do is amazing. This is going to be a life changing thing for our community.”

“The number of communities and Canadian that got behind this program was overwhelming and it was an extremely close race amongst the three finalists,” Andrea Fiederer, Goeasy chief marketing officer, said. “In the end, the story of the Humanity Project and the people behind it really captured the hearts of Canadians and had the most votes.

“The Humanity Project is a volunteer-led organisation that really demonstrates the impact of grassroots engagement,” she continued. “We know the people behind the project and the community of Moncton will benefit from the $50,000 that they will be awarded from Goeasy.”

The installation and renovation of the Humanity Project’s kitchen will be documented in a video production that will be promoted nationally by Goeasy in October, providing a further profile for this worthy organisation.

The Humanity Project’s web site can be found at thehumanityproject.ca

For more information about Goeasy’s Community Project, its web site can be found here: goeasy.com/communityproject.

Explaining the omnichannel and celebrating being green

23 August 2016
Events, Furniture, People, Retail

BRIGHTON, Ontario – In the Fall 2016 edition of the HGO Merchandiser, our team of writers and thinkers explain the omnichannel, celebrate Tepperman’s win of an environmental leadership award, review this year’s Canadian Furniture Show and discuss the latest trends in upholstery. Beyond that, our retail guru Donald Cooper shares his action plan for hiring a great team. That’s a lot of ground to cover.

‘Omnichannel’ is a term that’s been bandied about in retail circles for the past several years, but no one has really defined what it means or how it can be used to build a retail business of any kind, let alone one selling furniture, mattresses and major appliances. Well, Gary James has done precisely that. In a nutshell, being an omnichannel retailer means providing the customer with every possible path to purchase. It has to be provided seamlessly and while giving a superior shopping experience. Looking at the success many home goods retailers have had adapting to its demands, it may not be as dauntless a task as it appears.

Earlier this year, the third generation leadership of the Windsor, Ontario-based Tepperman’s Furniture was recognised by the London Chamber of Commerce for its environment sustainability efforts, which Andrew Tepperman, president, says have become part of the company’s culture. In fact, he’s discovered it’s more than possible to measure a return on investment (ROI) on the efforts to be green, producing not only a few unexpected dollars but an enhanced reputation among his customers.

In this issue, Ashley Newport reports on the recently concluded 2016 edition of the Canadian Furniture Show. It has undergone a makeover over the last few years, shortening its once cumbersome moniker, cutting a day from its run time and welcoming attendees during the summer rather than the winter. While it made in-roads in terms of style, welcomed more beautifully curated displays and some style-savvy celebrity speakers this year, attending retailers say they want more Canadian product and even more striking exhibits.

Ashley also authored our product strategies report this issue. While walking the floor at CFS recently, it became apparent to her that bright, bold upholstery pieces – especially those with sleek, soft frames – were no longer novel or rare. As the world has got smaller and the consumer more fashion-savvy, manufacturers began designing fun pieces that are versatile, mobile, practical and most importantly stylish.

Our resident retail guru, Donald Cooper, shares his eight essential steps to attract, lead and engage a top performing team because the real battle in business today is the battle for talent. If it is won, the battle for loyal customers and healthy profitability is a lot easier. Whether your business is large or small, not having the right people in every position carries a huge bottom-line cost in lost business, inefficiency, missed opportunity and frustration.

We hope you enjoy the read.

Click here to download your copy of the Fall 2016 edition of the HGO Merchandiser.

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