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Hudson's Bay Company (George Heller) Breakfast Meeting

"There has to be a marriage between retailers and vendors... we have to find a way to make it work", according to George Heller, Hudson's Bay Company President and CEO.

Speaking to a crowd of over 100 at the CHHMA breakfast on November the 23rd in Richmond Hill, Mr. Heller issued both an invitation and a challenge to vendors to be creative in channel management and bring exclusivity to the table. He suggested that this is the mentality that will bring about the kind of vendor partnerships that will benefit all. He also warned against the "sell to anybody" philosophy that he suggested is prevalent in the housewares sector.

Mr. Heller noted that the recent implementation of structural and cultural changes at Hbc is one of the last phases of a five year plan built from the premise that the organization needed to understand itself, and then re-invent itself. By cultural change, he was referring to the need for all employees and vendors to understand that it is need that drives consumer sales and that neither The Bay nor Zellers can constrain their ability to fulfill this need by being caught up in the old "Tyranny of the Banner" mindset. Beyond that, he also spoke of the advances his company has made in technology, distribution, and working with vendors in removing costs from the supply chain. "We need as few vendors as possible and as many as we need", he noted.
Following a question and answer session, CHHMA Chair of the Board Wendy Hanson announced that in appreciation of Mr. Heller's participation, the CHHMA would be making a donation in his name to his charity of choice - the Canadian Women's Foundation.

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