Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010 - (Page 38)
R E TA I L P RO F I L E
are you ready
Executing strategies and functioning at a high level of productivity is important when operating during any major event. But the planning and preparation that’s often required of retailers is perhaps the most critical component to consider. BY: SEAN C. TARRY
or 17 days in February, from Cape Spear in Newfoundland and Labrador to Beaver Creek in the Yukon, Canadians everywhere emanated a sense of enthusiasm and pride rare to our humble disposition. Across the country we cheered on our country’s athletes and celebrated their record breaking display as the city of Vancouver played host to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. And as a new generation of Canadian sports heroes were born, Vancouver-area retailers were presented with the opportunity of a lifetime - welcoming the world to their stores. Canadian Retailer wanted to experience the frenzy and fervour of the Olympics, and find out what other retailers across the country might want to consider ahead of hosting an event of similar magnitude. We spoke to retailers with operations in the heart of Vancouver about the tremendous amount of planning and preparation that was required of them, and the incredible opportunities involved in greeting crowds of that size. The first consideration for many Vancouver-area retailers ahead of the 2010 Winter Games involved consultation with the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee concerning the logistics of the event like traffic patterns and road closures and their effect on retailers in the downtown core. It was also necessary from a branding perspective to review and thoroughly understand the guidelines provided by Vanoc which contained many restrictions. “We were careful to present our brand to the world in a way that was engaging, but not contravening any of the structure that was in place.” states Charlene Kettlewell,
for the next
Indigo's Zone Marketing Manager for the West. "And as a company we wanted to approach the Games understanding that the international community was at our doorstep. We wanted to engage them with our brand as much as possible.” To achieve this, Indigo put on in-store events like book signings and celebrity appearances, and staged live music by local musicians. But the real engagement, acknowledges Kettlewell, begins with store employees. “We knew there would be more demand on our staff to provide an exceptional customer service environment. So we brought in additional staff. We wanted to make sure that we did everything we could to ensure that everyone who experienced Indigo would go away with that story of a great Canadian company.” The focus at London Drugs was similar – do your homework and be prepared. Nick Curalli, General Manager of IT, actually attended the Olympic Games in Beijing nearly two years ago to get a feel for the magnitude of the project. He explains that for a full year ahead of the Games they frequently checked in with Vanoc, and with their suppliers and partners to ensure that everything from the shipping of product to brand licensing was in order. They achieved this by bringing together a multidisciplinary Olympic prep committee that included each department in the organization. Customer service was an obvious focus of London Drugs. But to ensure that they provided the very best experience for their visitors, they offered employees refresher training. They also created an internal website for staff, acting as a central information repository specifically focused on everything to do with the 2010 Games.
3 8 | C A N A D I A N R E TA I L E R | M A R C H /A P R I L 2 010 | www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010
Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010
In Your Interest
Environmental Sustainability: Back to Basics
Human Resources Supplement
What's Your Impact?
Greening the Industry
Canadian Retailer - March/April 2010