What Advice Do You Wish You Had When Starting

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

At the recent NAMM Show in Anaheim, thousands of MI retailers took the opportunity to further educate themselves through the wide array of NAMM U sessions. As every top-end professional in any industry knows, you can never stop learning because the world never stops changing.

But while the designated experts on stage at NAMM U are a fantastic source of knowledge and advice, sometimes the best lessons are learned through experience. It can be practical lessons about customer service, broad philosophical ideas about running a business, or simply learning how to maximize your strengths.
With that in mind, Canadian Music Trade spoke with some experienced MI store owners and managers in Canada and asked them one simple question: What bit of advice would have made your work life easier when starting in the MI industry?

Here are some of their responses… (more…)

Shrinking Your Shrinkage Part 2 External Theft

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
Stephen O'Keefe

Stephen O’Keefe

Before getting into preventative measures specific to external theft, we should first reiterate one of the main points about internal theft from Part 1, as it is also one of the major deterrents of external theft: employee engagement.

The way in which employee engagement deters internal theft is somewhat obvious because, as Stephen O’Keefe succinctly put it, “People don’t steal from people they like.” The way in which employee engagement
deters external theft is a little more nuanced, but still fairly self-evident. Essentially, engaged employees are more alert and therefore more likely to notice if something is missing, notice a customer acting suspiciously, and more likely to act proactively to protect the interests of the store.

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.