MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Tim Hortons offers omnichannel contest

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oakville, Canada – The omnichannel Tim Hortons Duelling Donuts contest kicks off July 7 and at the end of seven weeks, the creator of the next Tim Hortons menu item will be crowned — and they’ll win $10,000. New this year, eight finalists will have the opportunity to defend their donut ideas in person to a panel of famous Canadians — Jason Priestley, Jann Arden, Anna Olson and Ben Mulroney.

Through Aug. 1, consumers can visit DuellingDonuts.ca to design their donut and make a case for why their virtual creation would make the next best donut on the Tim Hortons menu. Tim Hortons will provide weekly design themes to spark donut designers’ creativity. At the end of the four-week submission period, eight finalists will be selected to be flown to Tim Hortons head office in Oakville, Ontario, to pitch their pastry to the celebrity panel, and battle it out for a spot in the final four.

On Aug. 18, Tim Hortons will open up the polls and ask Canadians to decide which donut creation will be crowned champion. The winner will be awarded $10,000 cash and will have their donut added to the Tim Hortons menu later this year. Tim Hortons fans can share their donut favorites throughout the contest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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OPERATIONS

West Elm opens Indian fair trade rug factory; Bill Clinton visits

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brooklyn, N.Y. – In partnership with its largest rug supplier, Raj Overseas, West Elm has established a fair trade certified factory for handcrafted rugs in India. Fair trade certification ensures that the rugs are made in safe working conditions and that workers are justly compensated, delivering a premium back to the worker to invest in causes of their choice.

Employees at the West Elm fair trade factory have chosen to fund additional healthcare coverage. Fair trade certified rugs will be available this holiday season at West Elm retail locations and on its e-commerce site.

President Clinton recently visited West Elm’s corporate headquarters in Brooklyn to view West Elm’s work to support artisans around the world and offer handcrafted products under the brand’s 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action.

Additional projects and progress under West Elm’s consciousness initiatives and CGI Commitment to Action include:

  • In 2013, West Elm committed to purchasing $35 million in handcrafted products during the next two years. The brand has nearly met this goal in one year.
  • West Elm is building a network of artisan makers and currently working with more than 35 artisan groups in 15 countries. More than half of the artisans West Elm works with are women. The brand makes long-term commitments of three to five years to each maker.
  • To further support artisans, West Elm recently launched an adult literacy initiative in Haiti in partnership with the Clinton Foundation and ProDev, teaching artisans reading, writing, financial literacy, and vocational training. The brand hopes to replicate the program with additional vendors and in other countries, including the Philippines.
  • In August, West Elm will launch the We Love Local Small Business Grant as the next phase of its West Elm Local program. The grant, which will be awarded by West Elm with feedback from customers through online public voting, will go to one U.S. based small business and includes a $25,000 cash prize and ongoing business support from West Elm.
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FINANCE

PetSmart investor Longview joins Java in calling for sale

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – PetSmart investor Longview Asset Management LLC, Chicago, has joined activist investor Jana Partners in calling for the retail chain to consider a sale. Meanwhile, PetSmart said it was reviewing ways to return more cash to shareholders.

In a regulatory filing, PetSmart disclosed that its board of directors is considering changes to the company’s capital structure in order to return more capital to shareholders. The disclosure follows a July 3 announcement by Jana Partners that it holds a 9.9% stake in PetSmart and plans to ask the retailer to explore various options, including a sale.

PetSmart has not specifically said it will consider a sale, but previously said that it welcomes communication with shareholders and that its board and management are committed to creating value for shareholders. Jana, a $10 billion firm hedge firm run by Barry Rosenstein, has a reputation for pushing corporate managements to make changes

"The evaluation is ongoing and is consistent with the company’s commitment to driving shareholder value,” PetSmart stated in the disclosure. There is no assurance any new initiatives will be undertaken, and if so, the amount and timing of any such initiatives," PetSmart stated.

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