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  Leaders in Canadian Retail  

   By :  Ravinder
    Apr 10, 2012    Views: 5789
Ever wonder how some of the heavy hitters in Canadian Retailing got their start? 

Over the years Halo Metrics has had the pleasure of interviewing some of these people for our newsletter called “The UPside”.   We thought we would share some of our past installments on our blog for your reading pleasure!

So how did you get your start? 

The UPside  - Volume 3 – Issue 1

Paul Fancellu, Director of Loss Prevention & Security

During my school years, I began selling shoes as a part time sales associate to help pay for my studies. Back then the company size was approximately 45 stores. I became interested in the owner’s way of operating the business and what he was saying about here being an opportunity to move up and grow with the company. I continued in my studies went to college in commerce and business administration, and then began at a full time position. Rapidly I went from assistant manager to store manager for 4 years, moved and lived elsewhere twice for the company. Then I was promoted to District Manager for another 4 years and up to National Sales Director for 10 years. Fantastic experience traveled across Canada and worked with incredible people which I am so proud of.


Then I was challenged with a change, a change in which today I strongly believe is the best move I made so far in my career. At that time, our Vice President of Operations asked me to manage and restructure the Asset Management department, which included the inventory and the security departments. Before long, the insurance claims department was added to my responsibilities as Asset Management Director.

The UPside – Volume 3 – Issue 2

Winners Logo

 

 

 

Ron Owczar is a veteran of the retail industry with 30 years’ experience in the Retail Loss Prevention field. He is Vice President of Loss Prevention at Winners Merchants International (WMI), with banners such as Winners, HomeSense, and StyleSense.

In 1979, I attended Seneca College’s law enforcement program.  During the second year I started at Eaton’s as part-time Store Detective. After college, I transitioned into a full time Store Detective position at Eaton’s. I then moved into the world of private investigations, as I took a position as a Private Investigator at Whitehall Bureau of investigations in Toronto. In 1982 I re-entered the Retail Loss Prevention field when I moved to Calgary, where I worked at Woodward’s, a chain of department stores. I worked at Woodward’s for 13 years, in progressive positions. I started my career at Woodward’s as a Store Detective, and then moved up to an Internal Investigator, then to Regional LP Manager, and finally Corporate LP Manager. In 1992, as Woodward’s was preparing to close all of its stores, a friend suggested joining Winners as a possible forward career step. I had the opportunity to grow through two major Canadian Retailers, both with mature Loss Prevention departments. I had never experienced a startup program until I commenced working at Winners. When I joined Winners in May of 1992, the company had only 9 stores and no LP department. Today, WMI, with its three banners has over 300 stores in Canada and the LP department consists of approximately 130 associates.

The UPside – Volume 3 – Issue 3

Forzani Group Logo

Bill Argue is a 26 year veteran of the retail industry in the Retail Loss Prevention field. Currently, he is the Director of Corporate Loss Prevention for the Forzani Group Ltd., the largest sporting goods life style retailer in Canada.

After spending 15 years on the Ontario Provincial Police, I decided I wanted to make a career change and I ventured into Corporate Loss Prevention. I joined The Oshawa Group Ltd. as the Director of Loss Prevention for the Ontario Division and was subsequently promoted to Corporate Vice President of Loss Prevention where I was then responsible for providing services to all divisions in Canada.  When the Oshawa Group Ltd. sold to Sobeys, I operated my own investigation/consulting business and provided Loss Prevention consulting services to a variety of industries including retail, industrial and health care facilities where my company built full security systems. Five years ago, I joined The Forzani Group Ltd. as Director of Corporate Loss Prevention.


The UPside – Volume 4 – Issue 1

Home Hardware Logo

Steve Shaugnessy, Store Design Manager for Home Hardware. Steve has a 16 year history with the company.


Years ago, Steve started at the store level with the Woolworths Manager Training program before migrating to Canadian Tire, looking for a management level opportunity. He moved on eventually to Cashway Building Center. Store design was something he fell into.  He started as a Home Hardware store planner, working at redesigning stores, layouts, and improving the shopper experience. At one point, the Store Planning Department and the Visual Merchandising Department were amalgamated into one new department called Store Design where he’s been ever since.


He currently deals with 1063 stores across the country. His department focuses on revitalizing existing stores, dealing with new facilities and adapting them to the Home Hardware look. No two Home Hardware stores are exactly the same. Home Hardware is a dealer owned cooperative system, where the owners of the company are the dealers themselves. The stores look similar to the others but every dealer is capable of inputting their own strength and personality into their business.

The UPside – Volume 2 – Issue 2

During our 20th corporate anniversary Cheryl Gillott (President/Owner) reminisced about how Halo Metrics began with her father starting the business from the family garage:


24 years ago (August 8/88), Bill Gillott started the company when he imported one product line into Canada, “warehousing it” in a self-storage complex. From the basement of his home, salesman that he was, each day he would cold-call retailers and then, when he got an order, run to the storage unit to pick up the goods and hand deliver them. His first order was from The Bay downtown, as I recall the story. Funnily enough the first customer I ever met, almost 10 years later, was Bob Ellis (then LP Director at The Bay) and his advice was “your father has built a good thing here, don’t screw it up”. I took his words to heart. Listen to your customer, give them what they need when they need it, and stand behind your promises. Pretty simple stuff. 


We have grown from that home-based business to one with four offices/two warehouses across the country and a strong team focused on meeting the needs of the retailer.

 

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