John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce named her “Business Leader of the Year.” Nancy Cameron, the President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna, was given this most prestigious award last week. This is a very sharp lady and worthy of the award because she makes it all work and that isn’t easy in the tourism business. It is always full of changes and challenges and on top of all that the weather is a constant reminder of how fragile it can all be after months of planning. She is good at what she does and runs her office and staff with precision. It makes Kelowna stand out among the areas competing for that important dollar. We are lucky to have her here making the machine work.

She is a neat lady.


My kidney specialist that looks after my dialysis told me I was going to need an EPO shot every week so I asked what this was all about.

His reply was, “Don’t think of trying out for the Olympics.”

Isn’t this what Lance Armstrong was using? Although the officials will never know because he has some way of covering his actions. I have felt like riding a bike these last few months myself.


The Executive Roundtable presents Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC World Markets Inc Toronto. The breakfast session is titled “The World That Awaits Us.”

To be held in the Ballroom at the Coast Capri Hotel on Wednesday, November 7th at 7:30 AM. Full breakfast will be served.

Tickets are on sale at selectyourtickets.com  or by calling 250-762-5050.  $40 - fees and taxes included. Tickets have been on sale this past week and there are already 116 sold.

Tal is one of Canada’s leading experts on our real estate market.


I have followed up with two local real estate operations to find out if the rumours are true that the Chinese are also interested in land in the Okanagan.

After my piece last week that quite a bit of farm land is being purchased by Chinese investors in Saskatchewan, I received a couple emails regarding this subject and it does look like they are interested in the Okanagan as well. I do know there are some deals in the works.

One of the biggest I have heard about is a farm valued at $15 million that went into bankruptcy and the deal is made or about to be made with Asian buyers. This farm well-know to the industry and is in the south valley.


We tried Moxie’s Grill & Bar this week for our dinner and it was over the top. This is a happening place. You know, every time we go there it is crowded so we decided to go a bit earlier and it was filling up already and it never stopped. Nice to see.

Our server was Cherie and she was at our table in minutes and had the ball rolling with the beverages. The menu is difficult because everything looks good and my favorite over the years had been their salmon with almonds.  They have cut that from the menu but I keep asking in case they change their mind. The food is terrific and well prepared.

I have never been told to "have a good evening" and "thank you for coming" by so many beautiful people in my life.

Moxie’s was founded in Calgary in 1986 and they now have 63 premium restaurants in seven provinces. It really is an experience in dining and the excellent staff makes it work so well.

They are doing something right. 


Target has been quoted that they are not going to make any mistakes when it comes to opening their stores in the province of Quebec. It is well known that Walmart sent out their first flyer in Quebec in English.

But there are more problems coming out of the French province as the 'Language Police' are clamping down on some major retailers. Those being challenged are Walmart, Best Buy, Old Navy, Guess, The Gap and Costco.

The have all been told to change their outside signs to French to comply with the province's language laws.  The name of the enterprise must be in French.

For instance, Walmart would change to Le Magasin Walmart the Walmart store. The office that is in charge of these things is threatening to revoke the franchise certificates of the six retailers. The retailers are arguing that their logos have been established over the years as their identification and must be used on the front of the store because it means something to the consumer. On the other hand, there are rumours that maybe the Quebec market isn’t worth all the expense in fighting to retain their corporate names.  This could be a battle.

Walmart is the largest of the six retailers with 55 stores. 


Kantar Retail consultants and analysts has just completed a study on 1000 Canadians and where they would shop when Target Canada arrives in 2013.  It is very interesting. Most Canadians were aware of Target and the fact they were coming to Canada.  They said in their interviews they are going to be checking Target Canada for groceries, health and beauty aids as well as general merchandise.

We have some merchants that are vulnerable to Target and what they represent about the future.  There is a battle looming on the horizon between all the major retailers because this move into Canada by the America retailer is a game changer.  The winner will be the consumer, the shopper who reads what the market is about every week and makes the households decision on where they shop. There really is no retailers that won’t be involved in some way or another. These giant retailers cover so many categories and do it well.  

Again, if you are the consumer this is going to be your time. It’s like Santa always says, make a list and check it twice.   



I am Mr. Robinson Cook and will like to place an order regarding some roofing systems from your company to Haiti. I will appreciate you email me back with the types that you carry in stock and their price ranges, also your terms payment as well. I will like to be one of your honest customer's and hope you answer to my request ASAP .Don’t hesitate to email me back. Thank you very much and waiting for your prompt responds

Mr. Robinson Cook

My name has been sold to some group of scammers because I get one of these emails every day. Companies who want to buy everything or on the other hand sell me something from their factory. It is annoying and there is really nothing you or I can do about it. Just don’t get suckered into one of these schemes. I closed my company two years ago and we certainly didn’t make roofing materials in Haiti.


Here is an interesting story about another company looking to expand their market in Canada.  Whole Foods is out there looking for space to build at least 32 outlets across the country. The last time I wrote about them the company from Austin, Texas was building a new big box store in London, Ont. The company has a plan to open two or three stores over the next five years.     

The food chain is looking at property in Victoria at the moment.

Whole Foods came to Canada ten years ago with four stores in B.C. and four stores in Ontario. There is one in Penticton.

More John Thomson articles