Shrinking Your Shrinkage Part 1: Internal Theft

Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Stephen O'Keefe

Stephen O’Keefe

It is not fun to talk about or even think about, but theft is a fact of life for all retailers. In fact, retail theft – either by customers, employees, or vendors – is a $4.8 billion problem each year in Canada, according to Stephen O’Keefe, VP of operations for the Retail Council of Canada. It can range from the five-dollar capo that gets pocketed by a customer to the $5,000 guitar that an employee rings in for their friend as a $500 guitar. Losses due to theft or fraud, also known as “shrinkage,” come in all shapes and sizes and there is no way to prevent 100 per cent of it. But there are measures retailers can take to greatly decrease its likelihood.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation – What Does It Mean For Retailers?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

By: Michael Raine

For just about anyone with an email address, deleting spam has become part of the daily routine. A long lost great uncle has $10 million in an unclaimed bank account! Delete. Half price Viagra! Delete. Win a free trip to Aruba! Delete. And while spam rates have been trending slightly downward in recent years, it is still estimated that over 70 per cent of emails sent globally are spam. So when the Canadian government announced in 2004 that it was setting up a “Canada Anti-Spam Action Plan,” there was a fair bit of positive reaction.

Fast-forward 10 years and we now have Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL), which took effect on July 1, 2014. While those stereotypical malicious spammers are targeted – dubious vacation offers, credit card scams, and the like – CASL is a far broader piece of legislation that impacts anybody who sends messages for commercial purposes. So what does this mean for retailers?

There are five key elements that businesses and individuals must understand to comply with CASL:defining spam, obtaining consent, keeping records, conforming to form requirements, and allowing unsubscriptions. (more…)

Tips From The Top

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

By Michael Raine

With Summer NAMM approaching, and with it, the annual Top 100 Dealer Awards, CMT decided to chat with the
owners of three Canadian companies on the Top 100 Dealers list to find out the keys to their success

Paul Haggis & Jenn Ladd

Paul Haggis & Jenn Ladd


Tactics to Combat Showrooming

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

SP_CMT_AM14(1)Today’s digitally-armed consumers have adopted “showrooming” as part of the buying process. Using brick-and-mortar stores to check out products and later purchase them online is becoming more common and will influence 19  percent of all U.S. sales by 2016. Amazingly, 80 per cent of retailers expect
to be impacted by showrooming, but only one in 10 has a plan to combat it.

Brick-and-mortar retailers have gone to extremes to prevent this. I once saw a retailer post a sign that said, “There’s a $5 charge for looking, which will be credited to any purchase you make before you leave the store.” I don’t recommend this, but that said, there are productive ways to combat showrooming, so you can get those customers browsing and buying in your store. Here are a few ideas that top retailers have successfully implemented.

PR That Money Can’t Buy

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

By Michael Raine

LizReismanWhile advertising and marketing can raise a store or company’s profile, there are few things that can generate as much consumer awareness as a positive news story. A story in the local newspaper or evening news broadcast can have an effect that money can’t buy. So say store owners Myrna Sislen of Washington, DC’s Middle C Music and Liz Reisman of the Creative Music Center in Monroe, CT, who gave a joint NAMM U presentation on this topic at the recent show in Anaheim.


Friday, December 20th, 2013

Leila-BrownBusinesses large and small face emergencies every year. Those that come through relatively unscathed are the ones that gave some thought to emergency planning and business continuity before they needed it! It doesn’t have to be complicated but pre-thinking the possibilities will help support a strong response and a quick recovery in the event something happens.

Building resilience into your business makes good business sense; here are a few key activities you can exercise in advance of an emergency that will help you ride it out.

Know The Risks

First, it’s good to know the risks – which emergencies or disasters have your community faced in the past? Are you in an area that is earthquake prone? Has a high incidence of tornadoes? Hurricanes? Are you located near heavily wooded areas subject to forest fires? Are you situated on a floodplain? Knowing how you are most likely to be affected will help you in planning for the possibilities.

Of course, those situated in Lac-Mégantic, QC and High River, AB may have been aware of the risk their location presented, but no amount of planning would have prevented the level of devastation they faced in 2013. There is value, therefore, in taking an all-hazards approach to your planning. Regardless of the cause, you can plan for the effect: evacuation, sheltering in place, loss of power, loss of facility, loss of staff… Preparing for each of these situations will serve most retailers in most circumstances.

However you tackle it, you’ll want to plan for both the response to the emergency and the need to continue doing business.