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Canadian Push 4-10-15

65 Future Shop stores left - re-open under Best Buy name - Investing $200M over next two yrs to improve "customer experience"  Some 1,500 employees, including 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time positions were eliminated during the closures of the other 66 stores. That's in addition to the 136 stores that already operated under the Best Buy name, including 18 in the Toronto region. In Ontario, 22 Future Shops were converted to Best Buy stores, while 30 others closed permanently, for a total of 55 Best Buy stores and 29 Best Buy Mobile stores across the province. The company said its Best Buy stores are larger, which will allow it to invest in appliances and in-store experiences. The company said it plans to invest up to $200 million over the next two years to improve the customer experience, both in-store and online.

Quebec based David's Tea files for IPO; sees potential for 300 U.S. stores - Could need an LP Director in the future  Founded in 2008, Canada's David's Tea has flown largely on the radar, and now operates 134 stores in Canada and 24 in the United States. It sees the potential for up to an additional 100 stores in Canada and an additional 300 locations in the United States. In fiscal 2015, David's Tea expects to open approximately 25-30 stores in Canada and 10-15 stores in the United States. looks to open 30 to 40 annually. Editors note: This company could probably use an LP Director once they hit that 200 store mark. Keep an eye out for them.

Canadian Tire - A Brand Canadian's should be proud of & one that helped defeat Big Red (Target)  Much can be said about Target's problems and their own self-inflicted wounds but one element seems to have avoided most writers and analysts covering the Canadian Push, and that's that a few of the Canadian born retailers and the already well established U.S. retailers in Canada, specifically Home Depot and Wal-Mart up'ed their game and fought back. One of the leaders being Canadian Tire. Canadian Tire knew it had to up its game again, and that is exactly what it did. Its "Smart Store" concept is a vast improvement over the traditional Canadian Tire stores, and its other banners have gotten a nice facelift too. Canadians have responded well-revenue from the retail segment grew by an impressive 10.4% just last quarter. So, when looking ahead, Canadian Tire is much better off than it would be if Target never arrived. The company famously survived back in the mid-1990s, when both Walmart and Home Depot entered Canada. Editor's Note: It wasn't just the problems Target had internally that led to their demise. It was also the fact that up until Target's announcement of their 130 store Canadian entry the U.S. push had been very controlled and slow, almost going unnoticed, but once Target made their announcement the retailers saw it as a declaration of War and knew that it would be survival of the fittest. So, in one regard the entire Target event benefited the Canadian retailers and the Canadian consumer. Because everyone up'ed their game and whenever that happens most everyone wins. Except for Target that is. But I wouldn't write them off in Canada yet, because they may be back. Just a thought.

Canada could see 7 Sakes Fifth Ave. stores & 25 Off Fifth's - That's Lots of LP jobs!  Two Saks Fifth Avenue locations are currently under construction, and negotiations continue for other free-standing stores. The chain's Canadian flagship, spanning 150,000 square feet over four floors within Toronto's flagship Hudson's Bay building, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. A second 130,000 square foot location, at Toronto's Sherway Gardens, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Both stores will be unique in how they will feature large grocery departments, each approximately 25,000 square feet, unlike in Saks' American locations.

Nordstrom plans to open between seven and 10 Canadian stores, with locations already open in Calgary and Ottawa  Nordstrom will open its first Vancouver location this September and in 2016-2017, it will open three Toronto locations. Two of Toronto's Nordstrom stores will be located in the same malls as Saks.

Boutique Jacob relaunching operations with five Quebec stores
Womenswear retailer Boutique Jacob is resuming operations, although on a much smaller scale. Family owners are developing a plan to relaunch the business with five stores in Quebec along with online operations after exiting seven months of creditor protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. Jacob is abandoning any hope of rebuilding a national brand after closing 91 stores last year and shedding some 990 employees. Instead, it will focus on locations in Montreal, Quebec City and Sorel-Tracy where the company started 35 years ago.

Kelowna RCMP looking for Vacuum thief - hit London Drugs store six times

Chaos as Walmart shoppers swarm armed robber in Hamilton
Customers swarmed an armed robber at an east Mountain Walmart Tuesday night, in a chaotic scene that saw two cashiers jabbed with a mock gun. Police say the suspect went into Walmart a few minutes after 8 p.m. Pulling a fake handgun out of his sock, he walked up to a cashier, police say. "He pressed the imitation gun to her side, told her to open the cash register," said Staff Sgt. Gary Thompson. According to witnesses, he screamed at her several times to hand over the cash. Police say the shaken employee could not open the register fast enough. The suspect then moved to another employee and began yelling at him to open his register while shoving the gun into his back. The staffer panicked as well and fumbled to open the drawer. Scared customers scrambled in all directions, police said, just as the employee got the register to open. "Then they swarmed him," Thompson said. Police say a customer came from behind and struggled to restrain the gunman. They ripped the gun from his grasp. Lumsden said he passed the weapon to a nearby employee and continued to hold the man down. Police say no one was injured in the incident.

Crash in Regina leads to fraudulent credit cards seizure by RCMP
A rollover on the Trans-Canada Highway led to the RCMP seizing a number of fraudulent credit cards. On March 21 the Morse RCMP found a 2004 Dodge Durango in the centre ditch near Ernfold. Officers found a firearm at the scene and seven grams of crystal meth. Interested in what else might be inside, they got a search warrant on the Durango and found a number of altered gift cards, computers, two grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Most of the cards were Visa and MasterCard brand, with the real numbers sanded off along the with the amount of the gift card. The suspects appear to have embossed stolen credit card numbers onto the cards as well as expiry dates and customer name.

Jewelry Store Robbers caught by police a block away in North Vancouver
Unfortunately for two males who had just robbed a jewellery store, they were observed by plain clothes police officers who were at the right place and time a block away. handcuffs with blue and red lights. The incident unfolded on April 7 in North Vancouver when at approximately 11 a.m. two males entered a jewellery store in the 1500 block of Lonsdale Avenue. One of the males stood watch while much to the alarm of the store employees the other male suddenly jumped over the counter and grabbed an extensive amount of expensive jewellery from the show cases. Both suspects were last seen fleeing the area on foot. Working nearby were plain clothes police officers who observed the two males acting suspiciously as they ran down the street. The two males were ultimately arrested by the North Vancouver RCMP.

Retail Conditions Report February 2015
Each quarter, Retail Council of Canada surveys members to bring you the latest news on retailer performance across the country. The Retail Conditions Report provides members with valuable, real-time insight into consumer behavior, best practices in retailing, trends and economic conditions. Read more

Retail Fast Facts: March 2015
● Total monthly retail sales changed by 0.5 per cent over the comparable month last year.
● Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 3.7 per cent over the comparable month last year.

Canadian Push 4-10-15
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