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Volume 16, Issue 21, June 2, 2016

Inside This Issue:

• Need Some Tips on Digital Marketing? - Participate in Free Webinar on June 9th or 14th
• Sign-Up for June 20 Webinar on “How Digital is Changing Stores in Canada"
• Applications for CHHMA Scholarship Program Due by July 15th
• Beautiful Weather for the CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament
• Wal-Mart Revives Yellow Smiley Face in U.S. for Low-Price Marketing
• Embrace Digital Technology or Become Irrelevant, Canadian Retailers Told by Sephora CEO
• Loblaw Considering Selling Off Gas-Bar Business
• Canadian Economy Grows 2.4% in Q1 but Slowdown Expected
• After Long Boom, Canada’s Housing Shows Some Signs of Cooling as High Prices Create ‘a Vicious Circle’
• Toronto and Vancouver Suffering ‘Buyer Gridlock’ as even Existing Homeowners Can’t Afford to Move
• Strong Q1 for Canadian Retail Sales
• Latest U.S. Economic News

Association News

 Need Some Tips on Digital Marketing? - Participate in Free Webinar on June 9th or 14th

CHHMA members are invited to participate in a free educational webinar on Digital Marketing in June presented by Sofie Andreou of Sofie Andreou & Associates.

Sofie recently spoke at the CHHMA Spring Conference & AGM in April and we have now asked her to continue to work with CHHMA and COPA members through her Digital Marketing Education Series which includes webinars and possibly her Video Tutorials, as an added member benefit.

To accommodate your various schedules, we are offering the introductory webinar (approx. 45 minutes) at a morning and afternoon session: June 9th at 9:00 a.m. or June 14th at 1:30 p.m.

This introductory webinar will focus on the basics and a tip in each of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Immediately following the webinar, a survey will be sent to you asking which topic you would like us to expand on in future webinars.

If there is interest from the membership, we will also look to extend access to Sofie's online digital marketing tutorials called "Coffee Break Learning" in the fall. To find out more on Coffee Break Learning or Sofie click here:

For the GoToMeeting sign-in details for the webinar and links to a few of Sofie’s video tutorials which you might find useful, click here.

Sign-Up for June 20 Webinar on “How Digital is Changing Stores in Canada”  

On Monday, June 20, CHHMA members will once again have an opportunity to participate in a webinar (at no cost) put on by Michael Rogosa, a senior analyst at RetailNet Group.

Mr. Rogosa previously held a webinar on March 22nd for CHHMA and COPA members that presented some interesting demographic information and consumer trends impacting retail sales in Canada.

This time, the webinar topic will be: How Digital is Changing Stores in Canada.

Canada’s low scale and adoption of ecommerce has been well documented, but many have made the mistake of overlooking the broader impact digital tools and capabilities are having on the retail environment. While Canada has not seen the same movement in products leaving stores as many other developed nations, the shopper’s path to purchase and value chain have changed dramatically.

This session we will look at the impact of digital tools on the path to purchase and show examples of retailer investment in digital integration in the store.

The webinar will start at 2:00 p.m. EDT and last approx. 30 minutes.

To register for the webinar, click here

Applications for CHHMA Scholarship Program Due by July 15th

The CHHMA is once again pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for children of employees of our member companies to apply for a scholarship to help offset the cost of post-secondary education. The Association recognizes the importance of education and therefore encourages children of our member companies to attend University or College. Successful candidates receive $1,000 CDN per year for the first two years of study leading to a diploma or degree from an accredited community college or university.

The scholarship program is available to the dependents of any current full-time employees of the CHHMA or member companies. The program is only offered to Canadian companies or divisions of companies based in Canada which are members of the CHHMA. The member company must remain a member in good standing in order for the student to qualify for the second year of the scholarship.The student's parent or guardian must be an active full-time employee with at least one year seniority with the CHHMA or member company as of July 15th in the year of application. Applicants must be preparing to enter an accredited community college or university in the fall term, and attain a minimum average of 75% in the last year of high school (or CEGEP).The decision of the Selection Committee and the CHHMA is final and not open to appeals.The CHHMA reserves the right to withdraw a scholarship should the student's parent(s) or guardian(s) voluntarily leave the employment of the CHHMA or member company, or if employment is terminated for just cause prior to the start of the school year, or if the company terminates its membership in the Association.

Complete details, application forms and information sheets (for bulletin board postings) in English and French can be found at Please print off and post these notices in your lunch room or high traffic area.

The CHHMA must receive applications from potential candidates no later than July 15th.

Since 2001, the CHHMA has awarded $160,000 towards scholarships and some 80 young people have benefited from the scholarship program.

Beautiful Weather for the CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament

It was a gorgeous sunny day on Tuesday for the 47th Annual CHHMA Ontario Golf Tournament held at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham.

CHHMA members enjoyed the splendid weather on the course with colleagues and invited customers as they put their golfing abilities to the test.Afterwards attendees enjoyed an excellent lunch and some skilled and lucky participants walked away with competition hole and draw prizes.

We would like to acknowledge our key sponsors for the event: Envirogard/Rainfresh, Groupe SEB Canada, Magtar Sales, Philips Lighting, Recochem and Shop-Vac Canada.

A silent auction was also held to raise money for the CHHMA Scholarship Program. We would like to thank all the companies that donated items for the auction (and draws) as well as all the individuals who bid on items.

A full recap of the event will be on the CHHMA website next week under Past Events.

We look forward to doing it again next year!

Industry News

Wal-Mart Revives Yellow Smiley Face in U.S. for Low-Price Marketing

Wal-Mart is reviving its yellow smiley image to be the face of its low-price marketing.  The United States’ largest retailer is emphasizing customer service and aiming to reinforce a price leadership claim that’s been chipped away at by increased competition from online leader and other rivals. The smiley, dormant for ten years, has returned to some digital advertising and will be in TV ads and some store signs starting next week. From there it’s likely to expand.  Read More >> 

Embrace Digital Technology or Become Irrelevant, Canadian Retailers Told by Sephora CEO

As the chief executive of beauty retailer Sephora Americas, Calvin McDonald is suitably well-seasoned to advocate for change.

The former CEO of Sears Canada Inc. exited abruptly for the San Francisco-based role in 2013 after reported clashes with Sears Canada’s board over the degree and pace of funding for his radical transformation plan at the struggling department store chain. Now, McDonald believes bricks-and-mortar retailers, particularly in Canada, need to better embrace digital technology to stay relevant in an era when almost everything can be ordered from  Read More >>  

Loblaw Considering Selling Off Gas-Bar Business

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is mulling the sale of its gas station business, bucking the trend of large retailers doubling down at the pumps.

The grocery and pharmacy giant said last Friday that it had started a process to talk to potential buyers about the sale of its 212 gas stations, which have been established alongside 20% of the company’s locations, such as Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills and Independent grocers across most provinces.

Loblaw’s move to siphon off its fuel business would be at odds with competitors who are increasing their focus on their gas bars in Canada and south of the border.  Read More >>

Economic News

Canadian Economy Grows 2.4% in Q1 but Slowdown Expected

Canada’s economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in the first quarter, but a deeper-than-expected slump in March has put the economy on a much weaker footing for what could be an outright contraction in the second quarter.

Statistics Canada reported on Tuesday that real (i.e. inflation-adjusted) GDP grew at an annualized rate of 2.4% from the previous quarter, the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2014, and well ahead of the 0.5% pace in the final quarter of 2015. The 2015 fourth-quarter figure was revised downward from the originally reported 0.8%.

Despite the solid growth, the first-quarter result was well below the 2.8% average estimate of economists, and a far cry from forecasts of more than 3% from just a few weeks ago, testament to the disappointingly weak finish to the quarter. March’s real GDP was down 0.2% month over month, even worse than the 0.1% decline economists had anticipated, marking the second straight month of contraction after a booming start to the year.  Read More >>  

After Long Boom, Canada’s Housing Shows Some Signs of Cooling as High Prices Create ‘a Vicious Circle’

Seven years into a Canadian housing boom that many have warned will end in a bust, there are signs of a sales slowdown in the two hottest cities, with some economists and real estate agents saying the peak has passed.

A cooling of sales activity in Toronto and Vancouver, the two tent poles holding up an otherwise soggy national housing market, could bring the two markets into line with the rest of the country’s tepid economy.

It would be welcome news to homebuyers who have struggled to win bidding wars in the two cities, which represent about 54% of the Canadian housing market. Even some real estate agents welcome the idea of a calmer market.  Read More >>

Toronto and Vancouver Suffering ‘Buyer Gridlock’ as even Existing Homeowners Can’t Afford to Move

Skyrocketing housing prices in Toronto and Vancouver are now preventing even existing homeowners from being able to upgrade into a new home.

While much has been made of the plight of first-time homebuyers who have to contend with lack of affordability in both markets, TD Economics notes that higher prices are now locking out those who bought entry-level homes years ago and are hoping to upgrade.

This has further worsened the supply of entry-level homes in both markets, exacerbating what TD calls “buyers gridlock.”  Read More >>  

Strong Q1 for Canadian Retail Sales

Total Canadian retail sales were up a solid 5.5% on a not seasonally adjusted basis in Q1 2016 versus a year ago, according to the latest Statistics Canada numbers. It was the strongest Q1 (or any other calendar quarter, for that matter) in 6 years. The 3 month growth trend has spiked upward, and the underlying 12 month trend is improving.

Easter was in March this year, versus April in 2015, and February had an extra day due to 2016 being a leap year. But this is not enough to explain the jump. Gains were also broadly based, with above average retail sales growth at drug stores, shoe stores, home improvement retailers, and new car dealers.  Read More >>

Latest U.S. Economic News

U.S. economic growth slowed in the first quarter although not as sharply as initially thought, as a surge in home building and steady inventory accumulation partially offset the impact of modest consumer spending and soft business investment.

Americans turned more optimistic about the economy in May than the previous month, buoyed by steady hiring and higher incomes.

The Federal Reserve should raise interest rates “in the coming months” if the economy picks up as expected and jobs continue to be generated, U.S. central bank chief Janet Yellen said last Friday, bolstering the case for a rate increase in June or July.

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes surged far more than expected in April to the highest level in more than a decade, another sign the economy has gained steam during the second quarter.  Read More >>


 Upcoming CHHMA Events 

Digital Marketing Webinar – Sofie Andreou Presenter  
Thursday, June 9, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. or
Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. 

How Digital is Changing Stores in Canada Webinar - Michael Rogosa Presenter
Monday, June 20, 2016, 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  

CHHMA Industry Calendar

To register for all events visit our website at or call Pam Winter at (416) 282-0022 ext.21.


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"Eye On Our Industry" is published by the CHHMA as an information resource for our members. Member input regarding content and format is welcomed. Please contact Michael Jorgenson by email:, or call at (416) 282-0022, ext. 34. CHHMA is located at 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON, M1B 5M4

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Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: