Retail War Coming Up?

Recently, Canada has been fighting in a retail war within itself. Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Metro Inc. both feeling the pressure coming from the US giants, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. and Target Corp., as they drastically increase their food aisles and expand within the country. As competition between the markets heat up, “grocers need to find new creative ways to lure customers.” Methods were raised including “focusing on new areas of growth, such as health-related products, shoring up their loyalty programs keep shoppers coming back and cutting costs.” It is evident that Canada is looking for ways to build their own companies so that the US giants will to be unable to take over the grocers.

Much like what we learned from the SWOT diagram in Comm 101, threats, in this case US giants, are able to not only make the grocers more profitable, but also prepare the companies of what’s going to hit them. Like Eric La Flech states “[Canada has] enough size to compete and do very well.”


Snapchat’s Right Decision

In response to Alan Huang’s blog on Snapchat’s rejection from Facebook’s 3 million dollar acquisition offer, I support Snapchat’s decision. Even though they haven’t generated much revenue, I believe Snapchat had its reasons for rejecting the offer. Facebook, as an incredibly large company, can easily take over Snapchat. Similar to what Comm 101 did in class with the Netflix situation, where some students thought it’d be the best choice for Netflix to join top companies, such as Youtube. However, coming to a conclusion that the best possible solution for Netflix to continue as a separate company, is to not merge with others, for they can continue to earn profits themselves. Relating back to Snapchat’s situation, they, themselves, have raised $60 million from investors, where they valued the company at $800 million. At this rate, Snapchat’s rejection from Facebook cannot be called as stubborn, but a smart move.


Company Ruined Itself?

A successful company is defined as one who can not only earn profits while minimizing costs, but also the building of loyalty between itself and its customers. Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon and yoga pant billionaire, commented during an interview on Bloomberg that yoga pants were not the problem when he was asked regarding the complaints about the fabric. He openly said yoga pants ‘can not be expected to fit everyone’. He later apologizes through a video posted on YouTube, but only to his staff. This has definitely made an negative impact in developing strong customer relationships. businesses know how fragile customer relationships are and the difficulty of winning loyalty after it has been lost. From this incident, I wonder how hard it will hit the company because of a couple of unthoughtful words.



New Role Model

Nolan Watson. A name given to one that was willing to get back onto their feet after failure, one that was not afraid to start their own business, and one that was modest, hard working, and determined. I realized that he was once in my shoes, walking around Sauder wondering what to do. His inspiring story, that he told us in Comm 101, of him creating one of the most well-known businesses really made me feel I am able to do the same.After reading Emily Chang’s post about Nolan Watson, I remember he stated clearly that “it is the people who are willing to learn and grow that become the most successful”, not those who are going after the money. Building one’s experience is one of the most important ways for a person to grow. Nolan Watson will be one of those people who I can look up to, especially when he was once walking the same steps as me. He is not only the CEO of Sandstorm Gold, but also an inspiring role model.




No More Crashing?

Research shows an average of 2,000 deaths are caused by motor vehicles in the past few years in Canada. To prevent this, Volvo is currently developing a crash-free car, where the braking system would automatically respond to pedestrians, cyclists and other obstacles. The question is: Is this heading towards a revolutionary change? When it’s finally in the market, would I be willing to trust the car on the road?

I wonder how the idea of a crash-free car came about. What problem were entrepreneurs trying to solve? Were they planning to decrease the number of car crashes? Because many companies are going after the idea of a crash-free car, there must be point of differences in the product that would attract consumers. Entrepreneurs are those who are willing to build what is missing in the future and create what is missing in our world today. Will it really work? And will I end up using a crash-free car?



How to be Fake

In Debbie Pai’s blog regarding excessive amounts of photoshop used in advertising cosmetic products, I agree with her that businesses should not use any type of editing to exaggerate the effects of mascara just to attract consumers. When one company starts, another company follows. I don’t understand why companies cannot accept the product that they have created. If their product does not match the level of other products, it doesn’t mean they should fake and photoshop what they wish their products look like.

By doing this, I feel companies are lying to their consumers indirectly. Deceiving the consumers will not do the company any good, instead, when they realize the effects are not shown the same on themselves compared to those in advertisements, it is likely they will switch to another product of a different company. Would it be fair if photoshop was banned in developing advertisements for the selling of cosmetic products?



Biking to your Service

How simple can a business get? Adam Hasham decided to initiate a bike service in his hometown, Toronto, which would take consumer’s orders and then deliver goods from local stores and restaurants to their front door. Hasham has started a site named “Hurrier”, where the homepage would show all the linkages with nine other Toronto businesses, including eateries, cafés, and retail stores. From there, users can place orders, in which Hurrier will place a 5% surcharge and deliver depending on distance right to their door.

It’s hard to believe that something this small of a business can be accepted as part of a business model. As this business carries on, partnerships will grow, increasing along with the demand of bike couriers and the expansion of partnerships with other businesses. It will eventually become a “general-purpose bike courier service”, that will allow everyday users to get what they want, either a pickup for lunch or some shaving cream from the convenience store, without having them to put everything down and receiving it in less than an hour. It makes me wonder how these types of businesses are able to become what they are now and what they will be.



Blackberry’s Next Stop?

It’s hard to believe how sales of the market leader started off as a professional smartphone known publicly worldwide reached its peak of 14.5 million smartphones sold, and then dropped 74% within 3 years to sales of 3.7 million smartphones. It was the biggest quarterly loss that the company have ever faced.

Competing in an extremely fast moving market with constant new launches from both Apple and Android companies, it was not surprising how Apple was able to sell nine million products within a weekend, while BlackBerry is hoping to sell at least one million of their new product: the Z10. The great difference between the two companies brings attention to one question: How long will BlackBerry really last? They recently lost $965 million US, where $934 million came from the unsold BlackBerry smartphone inventory. Revenue took a downfall of 45% from $2.9 billion to $1.6 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2013. With all the negativity around BlackBerry, their release of the new Z30 barely made an impact in the market.  Who knows where BlackBerry is heading next.




The Uprising of Lululemon’s Twin

What’s different between the Vancouver-based Lululemon, with a market capitalization of $9.2billion, and the new boutique company based in Toronto named Yogagurl? Alex Leikermoser took a step back to examine what Lululemon was not offering before she started to find the right manufacturer and the key partnerships. The main reason why Yogagurl was able to take over a big share of the market was because it launched itself in an area where consumers want clothing manufactured closer to their homes. By that, a niche market was easily developed by satisfying the specialized Customer Segments which partners with both Value Propositions and Distribution Channels. Yogagurl was able to manage its own costs and expand itself by reaching out to social media, which would allow the company to build upon pre-orders, so inventory issues would be diminished. Not only does Yogagurl sells botanical perfumes, mats and CD’s but they also offer yoga classes – currently the main focus of the company. A successful company would be able to turn their focus of wanting people to buy their products to people wanting to buy their products. Ms. Leikemoser believes that could happen for her company, if given the right partnerships and manufacturer.



S.Korean firm’s managers denounced for beating workers

Article’s Site:

It was reported that South Korean workers who decided to stop working at Wondo Vina Garment Factory due to no bonuses paid to them on Reunification Day, May Day and National Day were not only beat to the ground by the Head of the factory’s Human Resource Department, but the use of an electrical rod was included. There were no charges laid on the managers, which brings the conclusion of their ethical culture in their company. The workers have been advised by authorities of Cho Gao District to continue obeying the factory to settle the problem. It seemed that beating their employees was a norm in South Korea. However, relating back to the ethics of this world, causing pain to workers would be considered a serious violation. Since South Korea is able to bypass it quite easily, what is the purpose of business ethics to them? Is it not to strengthen a firm’s reputation and to take social responsibilities in everything they handle? If a company’s purpose is to become successful, I believe that a strong reputation of the firm is necessary. Not only does an enterprise need social responsibility, but also an ethical behaviour that will attract more employees to work for the business or even stay at their workplace.

September 6, 2013Permalink 1 Comment