Canadian Tire

PartSource. Mark’s. Helly Hansen. Sport Chek. Atmosphere. National Sports. Pro Hockey Life. Sports Experts. Hockey Experts. Nevada Bob’s Golf. And of course, the namesake: Canadian Tire.

Canadian Tire is a Canadian retail behemoth, responsible for many of the country’s most recognizable brands. There’s no denying that one would be in a minority if they had never stepped foot into a Canadian Tire store.

Now, for the majority of my featured companies on the list of Where I Want to Work, I’ve listed reasons why the company resonates with me, or things they’ve done in the past. But Canadian Tire is different; retail has changed and is changing. Canadian Tire is changing, and will continue to have to change. I would venture to say that Canadian Tire is as much a household name as Tim Hortons is (or at least used to be). I’ve had great experiences in Canadian Tire stores, and I’ve had really terrible experiences. And while I definitely believe in positive management principles, for the purpose of this, I want to focus on the bad moments.

The reason why? I’d love to help Canadian Tire improve those moments, for me, and for everyone. I want to help Canadian Tire make more money, all while creating better experiences for their guests. Why guests and not customers? Well, in a sense they’re the exact same, yet completely different. All customers are guests, but not all guests are customers. The experience should be the same, like the good old days when you visited a Canadian Tire or PartSource with your dad or father figure, helping him fix something around the house. It’s time to bring that experience back into retail.

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Canadian Tire 2018-07-10T04:40:40+00:00

Cadillac Fairview

While definitely more present in Eastern Canada, I’ve always enjoyed my experiences at Cadillac Fairview’s properties. They’re clean, bright, modern, and most of all – BUSY. With some of the nation’s most prominent shopping centres and office space under their purview, CF has continued to thrive in the ever-changing retail and real-estate landscape.

And now, with the recent acquisition of the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto (near other CF properties such as Toronto’s Eaton Centre) along with the announcement of a new $800 Million office tower in downtown Toronto – Cadillac Fairview is well poised to lead Canada in real estate.

While many other real estate companies choose to acquire properties quickly, beefing up their portfolio, what I’ve seen with CF is that they methodically chose properties that enhance their status for the long-run. Short-term gains versus long-term returns – I appreciate the latter more.

Fun Fact: According to the company, 50% of the Top 25 performing shopping centres in Canada are under their ownership and management.

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Cadillac Fairview 2018-07-10T03:21:58+00:00

MLSE

Fun Fact: The Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, and Argonauts are all under the MLSE company – along with arenas, training centres, restaurants, apparel shops, and much more.

Double Fun Fact: Rogers Communications, which owns 37.5% of MLSE, is also the majority owner of the Toronto Blue Jays. That means they have part ownership of every major league sports team in the city.

I mean, one of their main brands, the Toronto Maple Leafs, just signed superstar John Tavares to their roster for the next seven years. Anyone else foresee a Stanley Cup in their near future?

With some of the most talked about brands, from the Maple Leafs to the Argonauts, along with ownership of venues such as the Scotiabank Arena, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) is destined to thrive. Their recent (2018) acquisition of the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League means that MLSE now owns 80% of the major sport teams in the city of Toronto.

Now, besides my major interest in them being that the Maple Leafs are the NHL team that I cheer for, I truly believe that MLSE is in a great position in the coming years.

Why I Want to Work for MLSE: As you’d be able to figure out by reading my article on Why I Want to Work for Disney, I love events and creating that environment where people can enjoy themselves while, of course, driving KPIs for the business. I would love an opportunity to get involved with MLSE in the coming years, so we’ll see!

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MLSE 2018-07-04T02:43:13+00:00

McDonald’s

Fun Fact: They have about 37,000 locations around the world, and just opened their brand new corporate headquarters.

As I who really prides himself on good food, one might think: Why McDonald’s?

Well, I did say I like good food… and I truly believe McDonald’s has good food. I mean, have you tried one of their new Angus Burgers? Or a Grilled Chicken Wrap? Yes, it’s still fast food, but it’s really quite incredible.

And although there are some major issues with the Saskatoon (even Saskatchewan) locations, I truly believe that they have a good thing going for them. I would love to be a part of McDonald’s corporate team, and help them solve issues as they arise with their restaurant and new offerings (menu, technology, etc.).

Plus, who doesn’t want to be able to go to a McDonald’s restaurant in the lobby of their workplace and experience food from all over the world? 

Why I Want to Work at McDonald’s: One thing that I always enjoy about businesses is how they change overtime to account for changes in their target market. For example, McDonald’s has done a great job in the last 5-10 years (in Canada at least) changing their menu to serve more high-end, cafe-like healthy (or more healthy) food so that health conscious consumers still spend money and visit their restaurants. Furthermore, their focus on technology and other ways of ordering their food has blown other companies out of the water, before they even began. I liken this debate to that of McDonald’s Vs. Tim Hortons, where McDonald’s did an absolutely incredible job with the roll-out of their mobile ordering platform (smartphone app) and in-store kiosks, where everyone knew it was coming and I, along with many others, have used these avenues of ordering that their rolling out these platforms to more locations. Tim Hortons on the other hand, was more of a walk in to a restaurant and see a single sign above the counter that says “Mobile Order Pickup” – this was my exact experience. Plus,to place a mobile order, I had to download a separate Tim Hortons app, which sat beside the other Tim Hortons app on my phone. Weird.

I got off beat there at the end, but what I was going for was simply the fact that McDonald’s hasn’t shied away from innovation and change, something I’m happy to see.

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McDonald’s 2018-07-04T01:18:23+00:00

Disney

Fun Fact: They’re about to merge with the majority of 21st Century Fox’s assets in a $52 Billion Deal (if it all goes through).

Now this company is the only reason I’m sad that I don’t live in the United States – Disney is a company I would love the opportunity to work for, crafting that level of service and excellence that their brand is known for.

But it isn’t simply the company in general that I would like to work for – no, I’ve already narrowed that down to a specific area. (Well, two to be exact.)

Walt Disney Land

I would love the opportunity to show off my operational know-how and love of events by providing the Walt Disney company with my skills that would allow me to thrive in their busy environment. As one could probably begin to figure out, I love events and leading people through the successful operation of them. For example, you’ll notice that’s why I picked MLSE as a place I want to work for as well.

Throw me in the deep end and I’ll show you why I want to be there.

Retail/Merchandise

While this one definitely has some crossover with the previously mentioned Walt Disney Land, I’d love to be a part of Disney’s retail arm, and I believe that this would be a great initial first step for me as I live in a country without a theme park. As the company behind many hit feature films, there is no doubt in my mind that Disney’s merchandise sells just as well, if not better than, the films. I love creating experiences for people and I truly believe that is possible through a combination of customer service and products that one believes in. (I believe in Disney’s products – they’re so cool!)

Why I Want to Work for Disney: Besides all the amazing reasoning above, I truly believe that Disney is well-positioned to excite (and drive incredible profit) to people of all ages for plenty of time to come. I look forward to an opportunity with them (hopefully)!

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Disney 2018-07-04T00:25:39+00:00

Loblaws

As a staple in the Canadian grocery industry, Loblaw‘s has expanded to the pharmacies with the completion of the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart. Now, with their merged loyalty program along with the wrath of brands that target the consumer in Canada, this company will be around for a long time.

Loblaw‘s has a family-focused approach to doing business; the company is still largely run and controlled by the Weston family. Plus, let’s face it: everybody needs to buy food.

Why I would want to work for Loblaw’s: They carry the cheese I like. Kidding, but that’s not far from the truth. Recently I discovered that the Real Canadian Superstore was the only place I could find a certain cheese brand I wanted, and that drew me back into shopping with them. While I understand I’m likely a very rare consumer shopping for specific brands of cheese, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, and the sheer size of these stores (RCS). This will be something I’ll be continuing to follow.

Fun Fact: Loblaws has 22 brands of stores and maintains majority ownership of a REIT called Choice Properties.

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Loblaws 2018-07-03T07:51:03+00:00

Marriott

Undoubtedly the worlds largest hotel and hospitality company, Marriott has an astonishing thirty hotel brands underneath its family tree. Ranging from mid-scale to luxury, five-star resorts, there is something for every guest that stays with this company.

I became fascinated with the hospitality industry at a young age as my family was constantly staying in hotels around Canada as we travelled for hockey tournaments. I’ve stayed in the Days Inns and I’ve stayed in W Hotels. Recently, I got the chance to visit my first all-inclusive resort in Cuba. One thing that remains constant: while the room and the features/amenities on the property do definitely matter, it’s the people that make the experience.

Why I want to work for Marriott: Besides the benefits of travelling, I think that I can make a tremendous impact on Marriott associates and their guests. With some of the most renowned brands such as the Ritz Carlton, I believe that focus should be on upgrading outdated properties and training associates to the length of Disney.

Ultimately, a goal would be to own a few Marriott luxury brand hotels to supplement other income. Time will tell!

Fun Fact: The company has over 1.2 Million Hotel Rooms under its brand.

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Marriott 2018-07-10T04:58:36+00:00

Fire & Flower

First off, Fire & Flower has one of the best logos I’ve seen in a long time. Not only is it representative of their main product, but it incorporates their name in it (FF). Looks aside, I truly believe that this company will be extremely valuable within the next 10 to 15 years; while most cannabis companies have chosen to have been initial public offering to finance their operations, Fire & and Flower have chosen to remain private – which shows me that they’re willing to stay away from the hype to build something strong.

While plenty is still up in the air about the upcoming legalization of Marijuana, one thing is certain as seen by every nation-state or territory that has legalized thus far: retail sales are going to be off the charts. Those companies that can get in on the ground floor and cement themselves as a leader in the distribution and sales of this now-legal drug have an opportunity to drive growth at a pace that is only occurred once before: when the prohibition of alcohol ended. Which company is going to be the next Diageo or ABInBev of cannabis?

Why I would want to work for Fire & Flower: I love customer interaction, I love new things, and I love new experiences that not only drive revenue but solve issues pertaining to the human body. This industry is going to be huge.

Fun Fact: Orange is their colour. Orange is my colour!

Fire & Flower 2018-07-03T06:56:44+00:00

LCBO

While this crown corporation has had its tough times, I truly believe the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and by extension, the Ontario Cannabis Store, is sitting in a good place right now. They’re a large operation with a near monopoly on alcohol sales in Ontario.

However, the reason why this company is included with the others is simply due to their desire for innovation as a government agency. While I haven’t done a lot of research on the complete inner workings of the company, I lead you to this podcast from PwC, regarding retail evolution with the LCBO.

Why I want to work at the LCBO: Similar to Diageo or Fire & Flower, it’s all about the experience. The LCBO is the stepping stone, and the biggest in Canada at that, to enjoy that experience. I think we’ll be seeing some advancements in retail stem from the LCBO and carry into the rest of the provinces, especially with the upcoming legalization of Marijuana.

Fun Fact: 651 Stores are a part of the LCBO’ grasp on alcohol sales in Ontario.

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LCBO 2018-07-03T04:35:41+00:00

Shopify

Not only has this Canadian company made announced some incredible agreements, but their platform has forever changed the way merchants do business. Like Square, the merchant services provider founded by the founder of Twitter, Shopify aims to change the way that people do business.

Even more so, Shopify allows anyone from craftspeople to students the ability to sell and track merchandise and stores through their online platform. Their service easily allows for merchants to have an omni-channel experience for their guests, seamlessly bridging the gap between online sales and brick-and-mortar operations. Inventory tracking, shipping labels, online stores, cash registers, along with fulfillment and appointment tracking are all available features.

Why I want to work at Shopify: Simply put, I love assisting businesses optimize and improve their operations, and I truly believe that technology is the key driver of that. While I haven’t set up my own Shopify store yet, I have assisted peers and clients in doing so. I would love to be a part of this growing company through an internship or a placement after graduation.

Fun Fact: Started off as a snowboard shop, and is based in Canada!

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Shopify 2018-07-03T04:01:33+00:00