Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – January 19, 2015
It was announced last week that Target will be closing all of its 133 stores in Canada. This is a major failure in Target’s first (and possibly last) try at international expansion. So what went wrong?
Target didn’t replicate the model that worked for them in the U.S. In the Canadian stores, items were often missing from the shelves. The selection of items wasn’t as good as in the U.S. stores. The prices were on average 10-20% more expensive than in the U.S. It was a completely different experience. Canadian customers expected a certain experience and Target didn’t provide it. They didn’t offer enough value to stop Canadians from driving two hours and shopping at Target in the U.S.
Four of the key factors to maximizing customer retention are consistency, innovation, quality, and service. Target Canada struggled with all of them.
What are you doing to ensure you provide a consistent experience that meets your customers’ expectations?
Listen to my podcast on why Operational Excellence needs to be redefined.
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To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – November 4, 2013
Just when you thought the retail and grocery store landscape in Canada couldn’t get any more complicated, Amazon has announced it will start offering groceries online. Loblaws has recently agreed to purchase Shoppers Drug Mart. Sobeys has acquired Safeway Foods. Walmart is constantly growing it’s assortment of grocery items. Target is another player to be reckoned with. And now Amazon. Not to mention Metro and other grocery store chains. Who knew Canadians were so popular?
 
Here are some questions to consider as Amazon enters the marketplace:
  • How can Amazon compete with other grocery chains without offering fresh and perishable items?
  • Will customers order online knowing that they still need to go to the grocery store for fresh items?
  • Can Amazon replicate the in-store experience of walking up and down the aisles, often selecting items not on a grocery list?
  • Will customers stay away from ordering online because they like their routine of grocery shopping? 
“Amazon is arguably the greatest supply chain company in the world ,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “So we know they can offer fast and reliable delivery. The question is whether enough Canadian shoppers value the online experience enough to forego their weekly trip to the supermarket.”
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – July 22, 2013
Since Loblaws announced this past week that it would be acquiring Shoppers Drug Mart, I thought I would bring back some ideas from a recent Monday Morning Message on successful acquisitions. I had identified three key things that organizations need to do in order to be successful in their acquisitions:
  • There needs to be a clear decision as to the future culture of the overall organization.
  • There needs to be a fit at all levels.
  • There needs to be an alignment of goals.
And I would like to add one more:
  • Don’t lose focus on your existing business. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the integration activities that need to happen with a large acquisition, but organizations need to ensure they don’t lose focus on the growth of the existing business and its customers.
These are important for Loblaws to remember as the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart will have a very complicated integration. On the surface, the acquisition looks like a great fit because the organizations compliment each other and are not major competitors. But when you look deeper into the acquisition, Loblaws will have some tough decisions to make:
  • Can they continue with two separate customer loyalty programs? If not, which program wins out and how will they transition over to one program?
  • Can they just replace existing Shoppers products with President’s Choice products?
  • Will there be any impact on the pricing? Can Loblaws offer products at the same price in both Loblaws and Shoppers locations?
  • How will Loblaws manage the transition of employees? Will there really be no changes or layoffs?
  • Will Loblaws need to close any stores because they are too close to each other?
This is a very interesting acquisition,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “It really takes Loblaws to another level in terms of what it can offer to customers and how it can compete against the likes of Target and Walmart. The next 12 months will be essential to the success of the acquisition.”
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – April 1, 2013
Target has been making a big splash in Canada recently as they held soft openings for their first group of stores in March. It has been a long journey for Target since they announced their plans to enter Canada more than two years ago. “This has given us a lot of time to get to know the Canadian market,” says Tony Fisher, President of Target Canada. “However, it has also given our competition two years to prepare for our arrival.”
 
Moving into a new market is always a tricky strategy. Here are some strategies Target employed to make the transition easier and more successful:
  • They became a part of the community-From the outset, Target got involved with local communities and charities. They donated proceeds as well as employee time, and have set a very ambitious target for the number of employee volunteer hours. Target also developed exclusive partnerships with local designers and 99% of all employees to be hired will be Canadian. They immersed themselves in the Canadian culture and are really trying to be part of the local and national community.
  • They practice responsible speedMany organizations would try to accelerate the move into a new market in order to minimize their competitors’ ability to prepare. Target decided to take a more responsible approach. Realizing that moving into Canada was their first international expansion, they didn’t roll out too quickly. They spent two years learning the culture and buying habits of Canadians and after each group of store openings, they debrief and identify lessons learned for the next set of store openings.
  • They used experience to make improvementsTarget made sure to leverage best practices that had been identified from their stores in the US, and then made changes based on feedback from the Canadian soft openings. It would appear easy to say that any company would do this, but too many organizations try to start from scratch in a new market and forget what has made them successful.
  • They executed quicklyAlthough they spent two years learning the marketplace, once the strategy was developed, they executed quickly. By the end of 2013, Target will have more than 100 stores open. They took their time starting up, but then pushed down on the accelerator once the model was ready.
Target put a lot of time and effort into learning the Canadian market and developing a responsible growth strategy,” says Andrew Miller, President of ACM Consulting. “And let’s not forget how quickly they are now executing that strategy. This should significantly increase their chances for success because there is not a lot of time for competitors to learn their strategy and adjust to it.
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – February 25, 2013
With Target getting ready to enter the Canadian market, they have launched a new advertising campaign to make Canadians more aware of the company. The campaign focuses on the pride Canadians have in their diverse country and culture. The adverstisements tell Canadians that Target has spent the last year getting to know Canada and its citizens, so they can best meet the needs of customers. Target’s strategy highlights some keys to remember when moving into a new market:
  • Know your target buyerEven though Target is trying to appeal to all Canadians, they are really targeting a subset of that market, the people who might actually go into a target and buy something. When entering a new market, it’s easy to get distracted by trying to have mass appeal, but the most important people to appeal to are your target customers.
  • Create an emotional connection as quickly as possible By playing off of Canada’s diversity and pride, Target is trying to show Canadians that the company understands who they are and what they need. Target is trying to become part of the Canadian culture as some other brands have done successfully (Molson Canadian is one brand that has done this very successfully). The faster an organization can make an emotional connection with customers, the faster they can create brand ambassadors and loyal customers.
  • All customers are not created equalAlthough organizations need to treat all customers like they are the only customer the organization has, not all customers should receive the same treatment. Key customers should be treated differently than other customers. Any strategy around customer acquisition and retention must centre around this concept.
“The key to entering a new market is knowing who your target customer is and how to best appeal to that target customer,” says Andrew Miller, President of ACM Consulting. “Too many companies move into new markets and assume that doing what they have done in the past will make them successful. Every market is different and every country is different, so organizations may need to look at a different strategy to be successful.
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.