Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010 - (Page 6)

S HO P TA L K example of additional areas that need to be included in future research. A special thank you goes to the Steering Committee, chaired by Alan Ward, Vice-President of Human Resources at Staples Canada, which was instrumental in guiding the project forward and ensuring that deliverables were executed. To obtain your copy of A Changing Landscape: An Analysis of Emerging Human Resources Trends, please speak to a member of Retail Council of Canada’s customer service team at 1-888-373-8245 or e-mail in making its products is underway. And once compiled, customers will be able to freely access the index information online and apply it to their purchasing decisions. For the first phase of the index project, Walmart is asking 100,000 global suppliers to respond to a list of 15 questions involving issues related to energy and climate, material efficiency, natural resources, and people and community. Once information from suppliers is gathered, Walmart plans to form a “Sustainability Index Consortium” comprised of university professors, retailers, suppliers, NGOs and government officials whose objective will be to develop a global database of information concerning product lifecycles. NEWS Walmart set to save billions by cutting supply chain costs REPORT Challenges and opportunities highlighted in HR research A report released by Retail Council of Canada (RCC) in partnership with Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) identifies dynamics within the retail industry that have not been well understood to assist human resources professionals maintain productivity and realize potential opportunities. The report, entitled A Changing Retail Landscape: An Analysis of Emerging Human Resources Trends, is the first project of its kind to be completed in Canada over the last decade. The data generated helps explain the evolution of retail over the last ten years, and identifies current and future retail-specific trends and challenges which will help assess the skills that are needed, and in what areas, going forward. It will provide retail professionals with current information combining both statistical data and existing literature findings with fresh and current feedback from those working within the industry right now. The results are some definitive points and trends specific to retail in Canada. A comprehensive study of the industry was undertaken as part of the research for the report, yielding data that reflects key challenges currently affecting areas like recruitment and retention, training, skills and experience – all factors that impact the success of retailers and drive the efficiencies of organizations as a whole. A clearer picture of the workforce has also been drawn as a result of the reports findings. It is important not just for the directional indicators and insights that were discovered but also for the validation it brings to support existing theories that many human resources professionals have indicated, and now have the research to support. This report aims to help professionals understand where improvement and strengthening is required within their organization to maintain productivity and realize potential opportunities. Another important layer to this report is the recommendations that are identified, helping to uncover other areas within retail that need to be explored in order to paint a more accurate picture of what additional functions and positions are needed. The relationship between goods, services, logistics and support functions is an The world’s largest retailer is reported to have set plans in motion to increase the proportion of goods that it buys directly from manufacturers from 20 to 80 per cent. This aggressive initiative will result in savings for the company that is estimated to reach somewhere in the region of $12 billion over the next five years. With annual sales exceeding $400 billion, Walmart has in recent times enjoyed the ability to purchase large-scale quantities of its products, allowing it to post substantial discounts and savings. It also keeps them in the position to have more control over their purchasing and costs than many of its smaller competitors. Despite its vast purchasing power, however, Walmart currently spends approximately $100 billion per year on the purchase of its private label products alone, which include the George brand of clothing, Faded Glory and its Great Value food and home products. As part of its cost saving initiative, Walmart – which operates in 15 countries worldwide – is set to do away with its country-by-country purchasing policy to be replaced by a combined method. To consolidate its global purchasing plan, the company has established four international merchandising centres for clothing and general goods. One of which is located in Mexico City, which also addresses another of the company’s ongoing plans - a focus on emerging global markets. The re-evaluation of the retail giant’s global and domestic supply chain operations means a cut of many of its third party suppliers, and a revamp of the company’s transportation modes and networks. As another component of Walmart’s plans to cut supply chain costs, it also intends to increase its combined purchasing of fresh fruits and vegetables for American, Canadian and Mexican locations. This decision comes after a successful pilot test which used apples as the subject. The pilot resulted in a ten per cent reduction in purchasing costs. Walmart says it expects to expand the cost reducing program through other categories, including seafood, frozen food and its dry packaged groceries in the near future. This news, in part, also means that Walmart is making good on its pledge to develop a more transparent and sustainable supply chain. The development of a comprehensive sustainability index intended to measure every one of the company’s suppliers’ environmental cost ANNOUNCEMENT Globalive to horn in on Canadian cellphone market The Canadian mobile communications market welcomed a new player into the fray in December of last year, when the federal government approved Wind Mobile – the cellphone offering by Globalive – to operate in the country. Though the telecommunications provider, whose consumer brand Yak Communications is already the market leader in alternative long distance provisioning, may find it difficult to break into Canada’s communications market with immediate meaningful results. Telus, together with Rogers and Bell, represent 95 per cent of the Canadian cellphone industry. It’s being debated by most critics as to whether or not Globalive’s bold decision will be economically sustainable as Canadian cellphone users already enjoy the world’s lowest communications fees. However, in line with ever-changing bundles meant to satisfy the equally evolving tastes and needs of the consumer, Wind Mobile, rather than offering customers a plan that costs less, has decided to simply offer their customers more services, upping the ante for players like Telus, Rogers and Bell to follow suit. In preparation to match the lure of the new kid on the block, Telus has already started to massage some of their features, including the elimination of system access and 911 fees, and are even including free voicemail in some of its plans. However, Telus deny that the move away from additional charges has anything to do with 6 | C A N A D I A N R E TA I L E R | J A N UA R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 010 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010

Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010
Publisher’s Desk
Shop Talk
Store Design
In Your Interest
Retail Generations
Retail Profile
Loss Prevention Supplement
Human Resources
Marketing and Advertising
Member Profile
Advertisers’ Index
You Asked Us

Canadian Retailer - January/February 2010