Q&A email from Eric
I send a few quick questions to Eric and below was his response.
1. Are you continuing the C-100 initiative? If so, has a new location been picked?
Evaluating effectiveness of the two current cities before going to the 3rd
2. Being reported in Canada (Ontario area) that the big box stores are moving product to shelves and away from the racks? Comments and thoughts? While shelves are more permanent it would seem that racks bring more visibility and greater sale through (at least initially).
This is a possible misunderstanding. The Home Depot, Walmart and Canadian Tire stores that received racks are still using them AND putting product on the shelf. More racks have recently been ordered, including a second Walmart store now. However the locations of the racks within the stores are being tested. It would be easy to miss seeing a particular rack, if a person were looking for it in the same position as it was last time that person looked. For example, during the recent orientation of the Winning Brands Ambassadors for Korea in Canada, they were taken to working retail sites in different cities (not only in Barrie), introduced to staff there and discussed Winning Colours with store personnel. During one such trip to a Walmart store, I noticed that our rolling rack at the front of the store had become obscured by a large wooden display structure from another company with a different category of product. I could tell from the positioning of the elements that it was not intentional to obscure the Winning Colours, but rather that the personnel who were installing the other display did not exercise care about the effect upon our own display. I therefore took it upon myself to re-adjust things to the (no doubt) intended outcome of the two being side-by-side and equally visible. During this process, a Walmart Associate noticed this work, as well as the picture taking of my adjustments by the Ambassadors. That Associate summoned the Store Manager. However rather than complaining about this re-arrangement, the Walmart Manager was good enough to express strong interest/support in Winning Colours, telling the Winning Brands Ambassadors to Korea (to whom he was introduced) that Winning Colours is a successful product in his store and that he likes the stand and its location. That was very recently (week of November 2nd). Winning Colours was also on the shelf in the same store.
3. Any update on Lowes?
If I reveal the exact nature of our current situation, it would be a violation of trust by them that I will keep operational details confidential. We have absolutely no reason to fear backpedalling. It is only painfully slow.
4. I find it very interesting after the first grocery chain in Australia, USA followed second. We’ve not heard of a large grocery in Canada yet; that is very surprising to me. Are there opportunities in that sector, similar to counterparts in Australia and USA.
Grocery in Canada is being considered, however here we have other major retailers to work with already. Our preference has been to build strong momentum with a few national retailers that are known and respected by everyone (and widely distributed in the country) in order to have negotiating parity with the grocery stores. Unlike the USA, a relatively small group of stores control the majority of Canadian grocery shopping volume. Eventually, we will be in Canadian grocery too.