Nichol’s next move unknown

Dave Nichol's next job remains the subject of considerable speculation.Uncharacteristically, the former Loblaw president is maintaining a low profile and cannot be reached for comment.About the only firm evidence available about Nichol is confirmation of what he will not be doing.Loblaw...

Dave Nichol’s next job remains the subject of considerable speculation.

Uncharacteristically, the former Loblaw president is maintaining a low profile and cannot be reached for comment.

About the only firm evidence available about Nichol is confirmation of what he will not be doing.

Loblaw Chairman Richard Currie says Nichol is finished as the star of President’s Choice tv spots, infomercials and print ads.

Nichol was instrumental in introducing and popularizing the highly successful private label, which spawned a host of imitators.

And it is this private label expertise that may indicate Nichol’s intentions.

One school of thought suggests Nichol will sign on with Cott – supplier of President’s Choice and other house brand soft drinks – and create for the company a line of grocery products that in some fashion parallels President’s Choice.

Fraser Latta, vice-president of Cott, has said in published reports the company would like Nichol to work with it but nothing has been worked out yet.

Max Roytenberg, Toronto-based vice-president of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, says there is a number of roads Nichol could travel.

Roytenberg, saying it is speculation only, suggests the Nichol situation could be one of ‘personality or product.’

Nichol brings a ‘certain cachet’ to food products and that is marketable, Roytenberg says.

On the other hand, though, he says Nichol may decide to work with Cott to produce private label products.

Roytenberg says how this approach might work remains to be seen, but one option could be for Nichol and Cott to produce a ‘universal’ private label for grocery stores not allied with the three major Canadian chains and clean up on volume sales.