Brandt’s legacy

Item B.B. (Before Brandt) A.B. (After Brandt)

Item B.B. (Before Brandt) A.B. (After Brandt)

Vintage A decrepit 64 A soignee 79

Marketing and merchandising No such departments As adept as the most

until the late ’80s skilled upscale retailer

Advertising Zilch Frequent sophisticated and engaging campaigns with Gee Jeffery & Partners as AOR

Store appearance & ambience All the élan and effervescence Suave to sumptuous, depending on of a small-town jail in the 1950s location, with 200 of LCBO’s 600 stores (Store design by Fiorino Design, Toronto)

Payment Cash or get out of their face Credit, debit and even Air Miles cards accepted since 1996

Purchase protocol State your tipple in writing and sign it Straightforward transactions with (oddly, IDs weren’t checked to see why so smiles all round

many ‘P.E. Trudeaus’ or ‘M. Monroes’

were such big booze buyers)

Staff uniforms Drab gulag-style garb European-style duds

Customer service Strictly don’t ask, don’t tell because All 6,000 staff trained in customer service & employees were forbidden to product knowledge; more than 4,600 have make recommendations now completed advanced courses

Selection 4,088 products in total; 700 Vintages 16,246 products; 4,464 Vintages

Open 6 days per week 7 days since 1997

Product tastings You’ve got to be kidding! 16,602 per year

Level of customer dissatisfaction Nobody asked, so nobody told except 1% in most recent survey

to grumble to each other

Annual sales of Ontario wines $149.7 million $243.3 million

Limited-time discounts Yeah, right! 1,474 per year

(what other retailers call low-price sales)

Value-add products attached to Dream on 1,208 per year

regular items as means of up-selling

Annual sales per employee $581,000 $1,045,759

Annual sales (total) $1.8 billion $3.6 billion

Annual dosh to Ontario’s coffers $650 million $1.115 billion

(exceeded only by casino revenue)

Awards for excellence As if! 200-plus for marketing, innovative retailing,

store design, communications, staff training

and social responsibility (Due North

Communications is its agency for the latter)