John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

It hit us like a ton of bricks when all of a sudden Canadian retailers decided to go with a full out promotion for Black Friday. This is the very successful American sales event that has been a feature at Thanksgiving south of the border for years. This year the numbers soared in what we believe is cash a starved economy. The U.S. sales for black Friday were tremendous. At the time I went to edit the Canadian numbers had not yet come in.

It was a good move on the part of the Canadian retailers who decided to step up and take a chance that they could keep some of those Canadians home from their shopping sprees in the U.S.  It seems to have worked and with new retailers coming into the market next year be ready for one of the monster sales of all time in this country because first and foremost, Target are experts at Black Friday. 

Shopping in the U.S. by Canadians has become an art and Stats Canada is saying that 50 million Canadians make that trip every year and most of them more than once. The numbers are that we, as shoppers, spend $20 billion a year and that includes rooms, food and car expenses.

The biggest complaint from Canadian shoppers is that everything similar in Canada just costs more. The retailers are paying 14% at the border for shipments and then comes the transportation bill because of the distance the goods have to be trucked in to Canada.


Dave Rutherford was always well liked when he did his talk show on the Corus Radio network for the old CKOV. His brother Doug was VP of Corus in Western Canada. 

Check last week’s Maclean’s magazine, “the Power List” - the 25 people who really run the country.  Number 19, Talk Show host Dave Rutherford! He lives in Calgary and makes a power list in Ottawa! An amazing accomplishment from humble beginnings working for Kelowna’s mayor at CKIQ!  He even beat out Justin Trudeau! He is the only media person on the list. This must be giving some of those big egos at the CBC heartburn. None of them were included.


Have you received one of these on your e-mail site?  What do you suppose the criminals expect to get out of this scam?

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The Co-operative Bank

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They need to hire an editor. What do they expect from this weak scam?


Silver Star Mountain Resort was voted as the number one ski resort and best family resort in the Okanagan. Silver Star took top spot in the Okanagan Awards chosen by the reader’s of Okanagan Life magazine.

In total, the resort took home three top place awards in the coveted valley-wide category: Best Ski Resort, Best Family Resort and Best Place for an Adrenaline Rush.


For years I have driven by White Stag Auto Body and I just found out from Frank Varski Jr., the general manager, that the body shop is turning forty. As Frank said in his e-mail, not many businesses turn forty. They have such a good reputation. I have seen some of their work and it is exceptional.


BigSteelBox, Canada’s fastest growing moving and storage company using steel shipping containers is launching BigSteelBox Structures, a new service offering steel containers modified into living quarters, offices, labs and offices for construction and industrial sites in remote areas across the country.

BigSteelBox Structures had its debut at this year’s Global Petroleum Show in Calgary where it exhibited luxury living quarters for work camps built from shipping containers. The company recently merged with Mission Group, a developer whose condo building expertise has been utilized to create a display of living quarters out of a big steel box.


I received an e-mail from Neil Schmidt, the bossman at Tower Ranch Golf and Country Club.

I just wanted to touch base again with you and tell you we had a great season here at the golf course. I have heard a few rumours around town again that we are for sale again. Not true, the development lands around the course are for sale but not the actual golf course and clubhouse.

It is a shame that rumour continues to spread because Schmidt and his team have done a good job with the golf course and my friends that golf say it was the best course in Kelowna to play and was in excellent shape. It is a beautiful course.

Each hole is unique offering spectacular panoramic vistas from every tee box, white silica sand bunkers, and bent grass greens.

Stan Tower, the original owner of the ranch, dreamed of a golf course on his land  and was not here to see it all accomplished.


The Bay, our 342-year merchant did its initial public offering this week, IPO aimed at raiding $365 million for the company. Some the experts believe the company might sell everything except for a number of upscale stores. HBC president Bonnie Brooks says no way and she had done such a good job in changing the look of The Bay stores.

According to the IPO The Bay owns or leases 25 million square feet of prime locations across Canada. That includes 48 Lord and Taylor stores, in the U.S., 90 Hudson Bay stores and 69 Home Outfitters across the country.

Seattle based Nordstrom is coming to town and they have already secured locations in Canada, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.  

The Bay is our destination shopping store and for a good reason - it has the product.    


It was interesting to talk to Kent Melvin, the man in charge at Beachcomber Furniture here. This organization all started in Vernon twenty-five years ago when his dad came down from Armstrong after selling his hardware store in that city. The three sons are still with the company and the original Beachcomber is still there.

In April of 1993 the company moved to a location in Kelowna opening their second store in Orchard Park. They then found the building they are in now and expanded their line to include hot tubs, patio indoor and outdoor furniture.

Their successful operation is about to move into new premises in March of next year. They have bought a large piece of the United Furniture building and are having that remodeled at the present time. This will give them three and a half times more space to display their products.  There will be more parking and a store front on Harvey Avenue.

This family have operated a very progressive business these last twenty-five years and have always challenged the big guys on the block and have done it with very much of an attitude that the customer is most important.

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