John Thomson  

John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!

We have a new question on the roster this week: “Will Target sell merchandise at the same price as they do across the border?”

Of course they won’t, but that doesn’t mean their prices in the Canadian market won’t be competitive. Certainly Target will set a new level of bargain shopping in this country.

Let’s put the facts on the table and clear away some of the untrue rumours that are making the rounds.  Every item they import they pay a 17% tax to Ottawa. This is the same tax present retailers have argued for years; Canadian retailers asked for this tax to be removed so they compete with the cross border shopping mania.

Target Canada has held meetings with Canadian suppliers so they are front and centre with how you build a relationship with this large chain - 1700 stores in the US.  The new retailer is getting ready to open the first of its redesigned Zellers stores in the spring of 2013. There is a lot of work to be done and they will open when everything is ready.

In their food departments they have given the contract to Empire Foods of Nova Scotia who own Sobeys, Canada’s second largest grocer. Sobeys will supply and stock them from their own warehouses. Sobeys have an excellent reputation in the industry. I don’t have any information on produce and fresh meat and I am not sure each of these new Target stores has the room for this kind of product. But we’ll wait to hear from Toronto on their plans. These particular items take up a lot of space.

Quit building up the negative rumours about Target. They are a very efficient retailer with a good track record. Target will add some excitement to the shopping scene.

One thing for sure: consumers will benefit from the prices as each chain changes their marketing strategies to compete.


What is going on in Bellingham, Washington

Some citizens got together on Facebook and started their beef against Canadians coming to town and buying all their milk and gas. The have said we are rude, and I always thought we were known for the other. We have no parking or driving skills… can’t argue that point.

Most importantly, we buy lots of milk, gallons of the white stuff.  That’s because of the pricing situation we have in Canada where milk and milk precuts are controlled by the strongest marking board in the country, most under the direction of the milk farmers in Quebec.

This is the same town that almost died because of the low Canadian dollar not that many years ago and we were not crossing the border in great numbers to shop at their stores. Since then business is so good with Canadians and their dollar that Kohl’s has even built a new department store.

The complainers even went farther because they proposed a shopping time period when only Americans shop, didn’t mention us at all. Costco needs our milk business. 
I like going to Bellingham to shop, eat and hang out and I don’t buy milk. I like the cheese deals though…


There is a scam going on at the present times and it starts with you receiving an email from a company that your order is being processed. The heading on the order information is UPS. Which of course is not true and if you have gone this far, now is the time to delete. The next is the sender wants you to dial 1-900 and that is a no-no.
It looks very official, but I checked with UPS and it is not. 


Rumours and Things . . . .

This is a prospective drawing of the new building being built by Callahan Property Group Ltd. It is in the Mission next to Save-On-Foods.

It now can be announced that this will become the headquarters for the KPMG accounting firm. They will take both floors. There will be some retail on the main floor along with parking.


I never really thought about this before, but what does it really cost to send our athletes to the summer games?  It says in the report I just read that $95 million earmarked for the athletes for their training programs.

For instance, the women’s soccer team jumped for $1.6 million for Beijing to $5.6 million this time out.  The men’s and women’s rowing teams $13.9 million; that’s two silver medals and they were expected to win more. Then there were the Triathlon athlete’s and their investment went from $900,000 in Beijing to $2 Million for London.

For all these athletes this is to cover their training, coaches, expenses to events and a stipend.


Good news from two major retailers after their second quarters. Walmart saying that the momentum is slow but the profits are up 5.7%. That cautious consumer is coming back into the market. The world’s largest retailer continues to drop prices on thousands of items in their stores.

Meanwhile Costco reported to shareholders that profits are up 5% and revenues at stores have increased 8%. The wholesale club also brought in more money from membership fees.


What is happening out at Copper Mountain Mine in Princeton? It is located 20 km south of the town. Started production in 2011 and planned to produce 100 million pounds of copper a year for the first twelve years.

Their stock has been bouncing around, their numbers are off.  The company, according to the Financial Post, has turned down an offer from a buyer heavy into Canadian resource companies over the last year.      
Owning a 25% share of the mine with Copper Mountain Mining Corp is the Mitsubishi Material Corp. We’ll have to watch this one.


It’s difficult to understand what is really going on in the hockey world these days and the NHL and NHLPA are negotiating something that we all know will just raise the price of tickets to the average hockey fan.

Here is an easy way to look at both proposals by using Sidney Crosby’s latest contract. He signed last year a long-term contract of $104.4 million. Under the owners plan that would be reduced to $76.6 million.

Both sides of the table are millionaires and both want NHL hockey to continue, just under a different business plan.

Just in case you think the some of the players are going to need pay cheques before this is all settled, all players have put 12% of their last years wages in a trust and that will be paid to them in October.


Worman Construction has made a difference since they went into the commercial side of things after such a successful beginning in the home market. The buildings the company has built across the city are winners in quality and design.

The company has a new project underway on Gordon Dr. just across from the Capri Centre, the lot with all the machinery on it. I understand this will be a two-story office building with some retail on the bottom floor.


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