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I came across an interesting blog by Chris Sorensen that caught my eye immediately. It was about a business that moved itself away from Canada and into the US for one sole purpose: to serve Canadians better.

Sunquest Vacations is offering vacation packages in numerous of US airports as they realized that many Canadians go to the US just for cheaper flights as opposed toVancouver. The high air travel prices caused by airport rent policy, forces Canadians to migrate over the border during holiday seasons to travel.  Because of this, Sunquest Vacations moved to the US just like their customers for convenience. As long as the prices are higher than the US, Sunquest Vacations will continue to operate in the US.

I personally find this very thoughtful towards consumers as well as quite efficient. Sunquest Vacations is able to pick up all the lost customers in Canada, increasing their consumer base and segments. Along with operating in the US, their channels significantly increase as well. Not only is this profitable, this is also very convenient for Canadians as they can make travel arrangements through a Canadian company with a lower air travel cost. They will have tough competition; however, being so understanding as well as a Canadian company, Canadians will definitely sign up with Sunquest. Business is a people’s business and as one of them, Sunquest Vacations is following where its people go.


I was interested in what my friend had to write for his blogs and came across a very interesting article about a famous Canadian company, Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is planning to expand its company over North America, expanding its industry and customer segments. It is about time that the world knows about this Canadian company.

By expanding into North America such as the  United States, Tim Hortons is to be a new competitor in the US industry, causing many US companies to be frustrated. However, this company represents Canadian pride ad helps other countries become more aware of our existence in this industry. However, as compared to companies from the US such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons seems to be lacking in terms of presence as well as technology. Because of this, people might find it hard to accept Tim Hortons’ products and continue to go to Starbucks. Nevertheless, this is a great choice for Tim Hortons towards building a worldwide chain coffee business.

Besides all the things Tim Hortons are lacking, they bring in something that other industries do not have, possibly giving them an advantage over other competitors. They have a wide variety of small bite-sized products such as muffins, donuts, timbits, and scones. Their value proposition is a cheap combination of a drink with a snack. This, alone, attracts many consumers as Starbucks and other companies do not offer this. Best wishes to our Canadian pride, Tim Hortons.

Many people nowadays are not retiring as planned due to personal reasons, health problems, and employer requests. With the lack of money, people are taking serious measures to solve their situations. How should they cope financially?

First off, retired people can downgrade their homes due to their children growing up. With the children leaving and starting their own separate lives, the empty space left in the home is too costly and inefficient. By downsizing their homes, they can reduce the property tax/rent by a lot which helps leave some money for retirement. Secondly, they can live cheaply which requires a lot of self-pressure and the feeling of a restricted life. However, this can potentially influence a healthy life style as well as a simple life. Even though this is not what retirement is perceived as, this can help retired people to continue to  live their current life without drastic changes being made. Finally, I think that they should sell off some of their assets. The money gained from this can definitely help fund the retirement expenditures such as lifestyle costs and luxury costs. Money is created to be used and not saved forever. Since they are reaching old age, the retired people should sell their assets to get money to enjoy the rest of their lives.


While surfing through the different blogs posted by other students, I came across a post that caught my eye. Inside the post, it mentioned about how businesses are creating value through accessibility, which i found very interesting and quite true. I also realized he had not proved why Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay had a very expensive rent.

Business owners nowadays pay for rent, a cost that varies due to primarily one thing, location. For example, rent spaces in the city-centre are much more expensive than the ones in the country side. This is due to the amount of consumers going by the place each day as well as accessibility of the location. When an agreement is settled, business opens and consumers come in. What do they purchase? They purchase the quality, the item, as well as what Aidan mentioned in his blog post, accessibility. Consumers rarely go to another shop further away to purchase from the same store that is close to where they live; hence, they purchase accessibility. Causeway Bay in Hong Kong is the shopping central where most people go to buy luxury items such as clothing etc. With many malls and shops, most of the people come here to relax and enjoy the evening. Since it is in the middle of Hong Kong as well as flowing with consumers, Causeway Bay is forced to have very high rent prices due to these two factors.


The ketchup company, Heinz, acquired a new CEO by the name of Bernardo Hees, who was the former chief executive officer of Burger King. Because Burger King is a rival, McDonald’s is planning to change its ketchup supplier, destroying the 40-years old business relationship with H.J. Heinz Co. This decision by McDonald’s took the whole world, including myself, by surprise.

McDonald’s is not being reasonable nor profitable. A change in the supplier’s CEO, who happened to be from a rival company, does not mean they should change suppliers especially when there is a long history behind it.  It makes no sense whatsoever. Heinz is at the top of the ketchup supplier chain and McDonald’s is simply walking away from them. Just because the CEO used to work for Burger King does not mean he still does. He operates Heinz now and is expected to keep Heinz as number one. Because of McDonald’s stubbornness, they are walking away from a long partnership and potential customers as well. As Heinz has a good reputation, McDonald’s is losing credibility of its food as well as people who expect quality ketchup for fries.

Heinz also loses from the ended partnership with McDonald’s. Without the world’s largest fast food chain buying its products, Heinz is at risk as there will not be a replacement that is just as profitable and beneficial. Being the one affected by McDonald’s poor judgment, Heinz will desperately need to find a new buyer to make up for its major loss. If not, competitors such as Hunt’s will try to overtake the primary position that Heinz held so many years. Perhaps, Burger King will be Heinz’s new partner in a several years.


Recently, Canada made a political deal with the European Union that revolves around free trade. Because of this, the Canadian Federal Government believes that this trade could boost annual income as well as bilateral trade. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA) will have drastic changes to Canadians such as cheaper goods, more Canadian meats (beef, pork, bison), more European cheese, intellectual property rights and drugs, and Provincial/Municipal Contracts. Is this trade truly beneficial?

I personally think that this trade is beneficial to the Canadian economy as it helps increase the production of meat, create new jobs, and reduce prices. Cheaper goods such as foods, wines, and cars will mean that Canadians spend more as they strive to increase their utility maximization. They get more out of their income as purchasing power increases. Canadian meat markets are exposed to other countries, giving them access to markets. Pharmaceuticals are being less restricted and compensated, which helps innovate medicines and cures that go towards improving the health of Canadians. Provincial/Municipal Contracts help create new jobs which is crucial towards improving the economy.

All these benefits help society as a whole, but the effects from this trade can be damaging as well. The markets for beef, pork, and bison are being stimulated at the cost of dairy markets. Receiving imports of European cheese means that the Canadian dairy products will suffer a huge blow in production, as there is an entrance of a competitor. Also, the dairy section is losing its cultural identity as people expect to buy cheese that is made from their homeland and not imported cheese. The Provincial and Municipal contracts are privatizing things such as hydro. This will cause a dilemma as profits become private while losses are spread out, making it unfair and uneven.


Bell is recently facing a lawsuit because the company has a practice where they put an expiry date on its pre-paid wireless plans. People have been arguing that pre-paid wireless services fall under the same section as gift cards. As to this comparison, Gift cards do not have expiry dates; hence, people argue that this service should not either. As many people lose money from the expiry date, is this ethical?

I personally think this is ethical because it is how pre-paid services work. You are given a date to use it by, a clear warning. If a consumer fails to comply and react to this expiry date, Bell is not to be put at fault. Even though it is popular with low-income households and that stealing from them is bad, I still do not think that this is unethical. If consumers do not want their services to expire, they just have to reload the card for an extension. It is not Bell’s fault because the consumer itself forgot to reload and lost their money. Bell will suffer loses if there is no expiry dates. It is how providers like Bell stay in business. Prepaid services have its benefits and flaws. This is why these plans are significantly cheaper as opposed to long-term contracts and other cellphone plans. When you buy the pre-paid wireless services, you are agreeing to the terms and warnings stated by Bell.

However, I can see why there is a lawsuit against Bell as people see this as an opportunity seized by Bell to steal from customers. It is also unfair as pre-paid represents a certain number of minutes over a certain time frame, with the only difference is that you prepay your bills as opposed to regular plans. Since the consumer prepaid for it, how is it that they expire? Either way, in my opinion, Bell Mobility’s expiring pre-paid services is ethical because its what distinguishes pre-paid from regular plans. If the consumer does not like it, then they definitely have the option of changing companies or plans. By purchasing it, they are agreeing to the terms and warnings; therefore, Bell is not at fault.


Twitter announced on October 3rd, 2013 that it plans to raise $1 billion US through its public offering. However, the timing and the price shares are not released yet. Every year, Twitter has been in a deficit as in the early months of 2013, it had a lost of $69.3 million. This meant that the company has accumulated $418.6 million of deficit in between last year and this year. Is Twitter doing the right thing? Will it receive its desired results from this plan?


Twitter seems to be doing something very unusual. It is expecting people to buy its shares when its company has been in deficit ever since it was started up. This company has never made money and is in debt. The question is, will people buy shares for a company that doesn’t make money? Maybe people will; however, it is not rationale. According to an economics theory, people aim to maximize their benefits or in other words, utility maximization. I personally do not think people will buy the shares just because the company is in some financial problems. People want to make money; they want to feel stable and Twitter just does not seem to give off that vibe. There is no incentive for people to buy the shares that it will soon offer to the public.

Despite what I think, there has to be some reason as to why Twitter is coming up with such a plan. There has to be some kind of a hidden profitable plan that I do not see or understand. Perhaps, Twitter is trying to overvalue itself to attract people to its shares or trying to make shareholders feel safer; either way, I personally think that Twitter’s upcoming plan seems unreasonable.


Many people are wondering if Blackberry has a future in the mobile market due to its strong competitors such as Apple and Samsung. With constant improvements and new attractive models, Blackberry seems to oppressed by these two strong companies. This leaves Blackberry in the trail of dust, falling behind each year. In my opinion, Blackberry will be overrun because of the immense popularity of Apple and Samsung.

First off, Blackberry has missed many opportunities to regain the glory they once had. Before the Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 and the iPhone 5 came out, Blackberry should have seized this chance to release the Z10. This would have meant that the Z10 would be ahead of the game, attracting many of the customers, who are now loyal to Samsung and Apple, towards Blackberry. Currently, the Z10 was released very late after Samsung and Apple had their phones released. Because of this, sales were very poor and scarce. Even though Blackberry is not in debt and has a huge cash flow, it is heading quickly towards debt.

Second, the era of Blackberry seems to be over. Sony Ericsson was in trend 10 years ago but due to the rising popularity of  Blackberry and Apple, it was forced to move out of the way due to trend and customer preference. Just like Sony Ericsson, Blackberry is being run out of town mainly because of Samsung and partially because of Apple.

Unless Blackberry comes up with a product or an idea that promotes itself or makes it unique to its own brand, it will have a very hard time fighting back and keeping u with the demands of the mobile market. It is possible, however, I think that Blackberry will soon be driven out if they do not find someway to bounce back from their losses.


Recently, there has been a television commercial by J.C. Penney that struck an uproar among the public. Rather than noticing the back-to-school campaign for children, the public took it as a promotion for bullying in school. Is it still ethical to promote a campaign to increase sales and awareness even when it also promotes bullying?

On August 15th, 2013, J.C. Penney released an ad on television making the public aware of its “First Day Look” campaign for kids. In the video, a voiceover of a mom is talking about clothing selections for her children this coming school year. While the voiceover continues, a child is then portrayed as sitting alone at a lunch table. From this, the potential customers claimed that the child is left out because his clothes are not as cool as other students. I agree with this claim and think that J.C. Penney’s commercial is quite problematic as kids should not be judge for their clothing. It will eventually evolve into and help encourage bullying. In today’s society, we are constantly supporting an anti-bullying environment where every student can be treated equally no matter their race, culture, or appearance. This is why I think J.C. Penney’s commercial, although not intended, is non-ethical.

Because of all the speculation, J.C. Penney took down the advertisement and released a public statement that it was not intended to promote bullying, but simply an act to make the public aware that kids should create their own individuality and make a good first impression as they go back to school. Maybe I am interpreting the ad too much; however, I believe that every advertisement should try to refrain from the possible emergence of a non-ethical topic.


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