(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “Whatever you sell, people buy it with both their minds and their hearts. So, if you’re not marketing and selling, intelligently and passionately, with both your mind and your heart, there’s a fundamental disconnect between how you sell and how people buy.”
     …Donald Cooper.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    A simple plan to engage your Top Contributors:
    1. List your Top Contributors.
    2. Frequently remind them how much you value them.
    3. Ask where they’d like their career and life to be in 3 & 5 years…and how you can help them get there.
    4. Get involved. Work with each of them to create a career and personal Growth Plan. 
  1. The power of innovation: Cement production is responsible for about 8% of global CO2 emissions.  Now, US startup Fortera is stepping in to tackle the problem. 
    Fortera , has developed a new way of manufacturing cement that cuts carbon emissions by 70%…and could reduce emissions to zero when green energy sources are used.  Their innovative process also reduces the cost of manufacturing cement…so a real ‘win-win.
    The question for you is, “What are you doing to innovate every part of what you do and how you do it?  Do you have an innovative mindset?  Will you ‘create the next’…or will you be the victim of those who do?”
  2. How Donald can be helpful: If your company or Industry Association has a Conference this year, or in 2024, I’d love to chat with you about how my bottom-line, insights on effective management, value creation, the customer experience, sales & marketing, creating a ‘winning culture’, accountability and profitability can be helpful.
    I deliver keynote Sessions, half-day and full-day Programs complete with ‘Business Assessment & Management Implementation Tools’ tools that have transformed 100s of businesses.  For more info simply email me at donald@donaldcooper.com.  
  3. Speed kills on the water too. Since 1940, 54% of those who have tried to break the water speed record (now at 317.6 mph set in 1978 by Australia’s Ken Warby) have died in the process.  


Now, to this week’s important topic:


Criticism of businesses by people who appear to know nothing about business:

Loblaw, Canada’s largest grocer, which also owns Shopper’s Drug Mart, Canada’s largest pharmacy chain, is under fire these days for ‘ruthless profiteering’. There’s the ‘Boycott Loblaw’ movement and protests demanding ‘Stop the Grocery Gouge’ and ‘Break up Roblaws’’.  

I get it that these folks are frustrated by higher prices, but they have no understanding of business or profitability.  And, they don’t want to acknowledge the role of extreme weather events hurting crop yields, global supply chain issues, geopolitical instability, high energy costs that affect the cost of food production and transportation, or the weak Canadian dollar, compared to the US dollar.  

So, (heaven forbid) let’s look at the facts.  Let’s look at the profit numbers for Loblaw.  Loblaw companies, including Shoppers Drug Mart, generated an after-tax profit of $2.2 billion on sales of $59.5 Billion.  That’s 3.6% of sales.   That’s just 3.6 cents on each dollar of sales.  Anything less than that puts a business at risk. For the first quarter of 2024 Loblaw after-tax profit was slightly less than that at 3.5% of sales. 

Some years ago, I saw a Survey showing that people believe that, on average, businesses make a profit of somewhere between 28% and 44% of sales.  Not even close!  On average, most businesses make a net profit after tax of somewhere between 3.5%  to 10%.  

The ‘Boycott Loblaw’ folks are demanding that Loblaw reduce prices by 15% immediately, which would reduce revenue (income) by about $9 billion a year.  But  they had ‘Free Cash Flow’ (after all expenses and reinvestment in facilities) for 2023 of about $1.7 billion.  So, if they reduced prices by 15%, as demanded, they’d be in the hole by $7.3 billion.  

Yes, in absolute dollars, Loblaw generates a large profit.  But, with sales of almost $60 billion, it’s a huge company.  We need to look at the percentages to understand the real situation and, at 3.6%, their profit margin is not out-of-line.  In fact, it’s on the low side. 

So the bitchers and boycotters need to do their homework…and the media needs to do a better job of presenting the facts, rather than fanning the flames of uniformed dissent.




That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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