A big thank you to persons who are kind enough to declare their satisfaction. www.BlauAire.com for Product Info.
It is well known now that Marijuana has been legalized at the state level for personal recreational use in Colorado and Washington. Confirmation has been received today from Colorado that our first dispensary partner has emerged for Blau Aire System retailing cooperation. More details will be provided as things advance.
Winning Brands is proud and happy to expand its scope with the official start of our Blau Aire Project. www.BlauAire.com
The Blau Aire system is not a simple air freshener. It is a stronger treatment for settings where more is needed. The patent pending Turbo distributes a sanitizing vapour that will be useful in many settings, not merely to deal with odours, but also to “wash the air” of some unwanted microbial content.
Just as it has taken time and effort to reach this stage, so too more time and effort will be required to realize the full potential of this new development.
The online order glitch at www.HomeDepot.com has been corrected and all shipping is functioning normally, including free “Ship to Store” service for customers who would rather pick up their 1000+ Stain Remover at their nearest Home Depot store instead of having it shipped to their home.
It has been determined that the origin of the “Out of Stock / Discontinued” mistake is that the standard UPC code of 1000+ Stain Remover as it is normally sold in the market (in single bottle units) is the one registered with the chemical compliance database, whereas the 3-Pack which Home Depot had been selling online has a unique UPC code used by HD internally. That is the one used in the inventory management database. Therefore, the UPC codes did not match between the two databases.
This did not arise before because HD is introducing a different chemical compliance registration process that had not affected this product previously.
The correction will take a few more days to go live. A decision is being made by Home Depot whether to introduce the single bottle SKU online rather than the 3-pack, as a convenience to consumers. A single bottle SKU would be beneficial for consumers and Winning Brands by making the product a much more attractive initial purchase for “first timers”.
There is an erroneous message at www.HomeDepot.com that 1000+ Stain Remover has been discontinued. The product has NOT been discontinued. In fact, Home Depot recently updated the 1000+ product page to reflect the current label design. Sales in this portal have grown since the product was first introduced by Home Depot.com and consumer satisfaction is high. All product shipments into Home Depot and outbound to consumers have been made according to schedule. Personnel at Home Depot are working on the correction of this error. The problem appears to be IT related. It seems that chemical compliance data did not migrate properly between two databases, which caused an automatically generated (false) message of discontinuation in the product availability database.
We thank the shareholder who sent this photo of our product on another store shelf beside a well known national brand (at the Home Hardware chain). Such good positioning is a choice that stores make based on their own assessment. Can 1000+ Stain Remover hold its own in this setting? Shelf space is valuable. This store says yes. Much appreciated. Every time stores move 1000+ to prime positioning, exposure improves.
Recovery of Momentum for Winning Brands in U.S. Home Improvement Retail
Progress in key feature of Winning Brands business plan
One of the most important goals for the growth of Winning Brands’ 1000+ Stain Remover has been to obtain a national listing in one or both of America’s two national retail chains in the home improvement industry. 1000+™ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution™ was chosen for that mission because of its suitability as a universal clean-up solution for Pros and DIYers too. www.1000Plus.ca After several earlier delays, new progress is being made.
1000+ had been in two key U.S. market tests which were taking longer than the company wanted. One is a local test inside 3 Ohio Lowes stores and the other an online listing at www.HomeDepot.com . Either of these two different approaches (testing in retail or testing online) has traditionally been considered to be necessary milestones on the way to a national listing. Since both of these chains have approximately 2,000 stores coast-to-coast (1,750 & 2,200 respectively), having a presence in either one is significant for the success of a consumer product brand. These are the world’s two largest home improvement retailers. They see millions of consumers per week, each.
In the case of 1000+, consumer reaction to the product has been under evaluation by the retailers. Do consumers like 1000+? What feedback do the retailers receive? How do the two organizations rate Winning Brands as a company to do business with? Is sales turnover of 1000+ Stain Remover in these two platforms adequate to justify expanded presence and eventually a national listing? Such are the questions that the retailers have been assessing.
Of frustration to Winning Brands’ stakeholders has been that earlier indications were received from these test partners of likely advancement, but delays occurred several times for various reasons. Therefore, from the point of view of Winning Brands stakeholders, the impression emerged that these projects would never advance. The delays undermined the plausibility of 1000+ attaining a national brand stature, and by extension, undermined the prospects for Winning Brands ever reaching the highest level of consumer product success. Although it is widely known that Winning Brands products are good, the difficulty in breaking through to the national banner distribution, reaching consumers in some of the busiest big-box stores in America, had cast doubt on Winning Brands prospects in the eyes of many.
Winning Brands has now received formal confirmation that one of these banners is ready for the next level of engagement with the company, by putting the 1000+ Stain Remover into approximately of 200 of its stores in Q1 2015.
Winning Brands has exercised great caution in evaluating this development. Previous delays by retailers to take us to the next level, despite their stated intentions, have made us wary. This time, however, the granular level of detail in preparations indicates that the associated work is already occurring internally on the other side. Firstly, the decision results from a formal review conducted over the past several months. It has the necessary backing of all affected levels of authorized personnel. Collaborative selection of stores by both parties is now underway. This even includes the allocation of specific space within the planogram of the stores where the product will be placed. Specific logistics procedures are being agreed, and so on.
Winning Brands will provide further description of this development in its Q3 report and the subsequent 2014 Annual Report. It is anticipated that this new program should be in place at the time of the issuance of the 2014 Annual Report and will be commented on therein as a subsequent event.
Our operational ties to one or both of the largest home improvement retailers in the world is perhaps the most important leading indicator as to whether Winning Brands can move up and attain unquestioned success in the U.S. That is why this new progress is so important. We are grateful to the team who helped bring the project into an implementation phase.
It is a fine thing to see and hear the good expectations that our retailer partners now have for our potential together. Our relationship with both of these banners’ Canadian stores, where their first listings of 1000+ Stain Remover occurred, has been positive.
While I continue to advise caution, and always will advise caution, it is encouraging to see that several earlier brand development initiatives are showing new life, including this very significant project. It increases the likelihood that Winning Brands will achieve the critical mass needed to become profitable and to address its (many) opportunities effectively.
Winning Brands has entered into distribution of the BRILLIANT Wetcleaning line in Canada with Miele, as per the following release, and comments from Miele: LINK http://www.accesswire.com/419274/Miele-Limited-to-Distribute-Winning-Brands-BRILLIANT-Wet-Cleaning-Solutions
The BRILLIANT Wetcleaning product line will be on display in the showroom of the Professional Division at Miele’s national head office in Toronto, shown below. The building is a well known fixture in the heart of the city.
Miele Limited will carry BRILLIANT inventory in their warehouses and will deploy its sales and service personnel to achieve recognition of the BRILLIANT brand as a feature of a complete professional wet cleaning system. Miele Limited does not carry competing wetcleaning products.
These arrangements are intended to provide Miele professional customers with total accountability for the performance of Miele’s WetCare equipment. Wet Cleaners who are using other brands of equipment will also have access to BRILLIANT Wetcleaning solutions, through Miele or an Authorized Dealer. BRILLIANT Wetcleaning solutions can be used in Miele’s WetCare units and other professional wet cleaning equipment.
Many talented and hardworking people have contributed to the successful pilot project for BRILLIANT Wetcleaning solutions; R&D, technical, operational and customer service. The majority of dry cleaners in North America are examining their options for the next generation of their equipment. The collaboration of Miele Limited and other Miele offices internationally is a good basis for continuing team building for the BRILLIANT brand over the long run and deepening expertise for all parties concerned. Winning Brands respects and appreciates its role in this endeavor and is proud of its accomplishments too.
Hi, Why isn’t your news showing up on investorshub.com? I’ve notified investorshub but no response yet. Please look into this. Thanks.
We have been informed by our newswire service, Globe Newswire, that Investors Hub has started charging newswire services to receive and show newsfeed to Investors Hub readers. Not all newswire services have agreed to this. Apparently, negotiations are ongoing. In the meantime, this issue has affected others and has created inconsistent posting of newsfeed. We are not privy to the discussions or the perspectives of the negotiating parties. Globe Newswire, a NASDAQ OMX company, is one of the largest newswire distribution networks in the world.
- Of the issued shares, the free-trading/float figure is 433,187,222.
- Since the end of Q1, March 31st, the number of shares issued is 376,882,787
- Since the end of Q1, March 31st, WNBD trading volume on OTC Markets is 807,002,368
- The number of trades in this period is 1,113
- The dollar value of trades for this period is $ 378,285
- The trading figures are from OTC Markets records
Further background to the news release:
For shareholders who are familiar with Winning Brands’ past activities in the field of professional wetcleaning for garments, the following recap of key points will place the developments described in the news release into context.
- The proposed use of water + specialized cleaning agents instead of traditional dry cleaning solvents was relatively new when we first became involved. It was controversial because non-water-based solvents have been been used for decades in dry cleaning. They work well, but are hazardous. Government concerns have been growing about the health & safety impact, and environmental impact. Dry cleaning solvents are the source of the familiar “dry cleaning smell” we all familiar with. Studies have shown that these solvents even go home with the garments and accumulate in the closet. Accordingly, there were powerful vested interests who opposed advances in alternatives. Their strategy was to deny the harm and to modify equipment to use less of the undesirable solvents, re-use solvent through filters, etc. The atmosphere was similar to the emergence of concern about the health effects of smoking.
- Our progress in the early days was hampered by countervailing publicity of the traditional industry suppliers who opposed phase-out legislation and claimed that professional wet cleaning is not a viable alternative because it could (supposedly) only deal with a small percentage of “Dry Clean Only” garments. Also, our progress was tied to the activities of our first distributor, who had world exclusive distribution rights for our professional wet cleaning solutions. That distributor turns out not to have been able to follow-through as Winning Brands would have liked with opportunities, for a number of practical reasons that were not apparent initially. For this reason, our early ambition in the sector was constrained by contractual/relational factors.
- The retirement of that original distributorship has been completed. This enables Winning Brands to move forward with business development in this sector that no longer requires as much 3rd party consent. It still involves collaboration, new distribution and operating partnerships – however the operating relationships will be with parties who are a better fit in their ambition and capacity to grow the business of professional wetcleaning.
- During this time, we have been continuously updating/refining our product.
- A pilot project location was identified wherein the new elements could be deployed, technically and in relationships. We are proud of the technical accomplishment of providing 3 months of substitution of cleaning agents in this busy facility and also proud of the constructive working relationships that were involved. The purpose of the new name is to clearly represent the next phase of our work in this sector by being clear about the independence of this brand from previous constraints – and to reflect the broadening scope of the professional laundry solutions line. The “OPL” (On Premise Laundry) aspect of the BRILLIANT Professional Laundry Solutions line will be discussed more in the future.
- In summary: What had become a terrific project being blocked by a bottleneck in marketing and distribution is being revitalized with a combination of technical advancement, new operational arrangements, and more ambitious outreach to the sector with higher profile associates in the industry. Every field has competition, including the search for alternative chemistry to traditional dry cleaning. What we have in our favour is that governments and environmental advocates consider professional wet cleaning to be the most desirable solution in terms of simplicity, impact and cost. Winning Brands goal is to earn more placements for its BRILLIANT professional wet cleaning solutions and to become a respected and successful brand amongst its peers in this field. Accomplishing this would a positive contribution to the community and has significant business potential for Winning Brands. www.BRILLIANTWetCleaning.com
We thank Talladega Short Track in Alabama for their rush order of TrackMoist today. ”Put me down as a satisfied customer for TrackMoist. This is as good or better than anything we have used, and we have been at this for 38 years. We’ve got that Alabama red clay and this stuff works real good”. That is the voice of experience. We really appreciate the initiative of Talladega Short Track calling us with this testimonial. Talladega Short Track is located across the highway from the Talladega Municipal Airport and Talladega Speedway.
Winning Brands is delighted that its lead product, 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution, will be available to over 200 co-operatives effective immediately following the listing of the product by the umbrella organization Federated Co-operatives. For shareholders not familiar with co-ops, they are stores owned by their own customers, in order to benefit from group buying power and to pass on savings. The co-ops under the Federated umbrella have approximately 1.6 Million members. Winning Brands will find ways to increase awareness of 1000+ amongst this member population over time. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Federated, whose associated stores reach over 500 communities.
We thank our distributor in Serbia, ROMA Company, for letting us know today that the floor coverings retailer, GALERIJA PODOVA, will start carrying 1000+ Stain Remover in their Serbian store locations. The news came as ROMA was discussing their replenishment order – the first one to them that will have the bright new package treatment recently introduced in North America.
The ROMA website link is here: http://www.roma.rs/
The Galerija Podova website link is here: http://galerijapodova.com/home/mn.html
A Galerija Podova commercial is here: (Video Link): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MBcE2QflY8
1000+ Stain Remover Shelf cards like the one shown below are being introduced to participating retail chains. They provide additional information for consumers who are making their purchase decision at the shelf. The Shelf Card provides Before/After photos of a variety of situations, lists and contact resources. The Shelf Card also ensures that 1000+ has a presence on the shelf if the product is sold out. They are printed with special protective coating to remain resilient and clean.
1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution will be at the 2014 Global Petroleum Show in Calgary next week to exhibit. It is the first time for the brand to exhibit in this sector. 1000+ can clean-up a great deal in facilities of various types in the sector, on work clothing and equipment in the industry. More to come about the Global Petroleum Show..
Global Petroleum Show Website: http://globalpetroleumshow.com/
We thank the people who made it possible for TrackMoist to join the action at the 2014 Summer X Games in Austin, Texas with testing of TrackMoist from Winning Brands. Preparations are underway right now for soil conditioning tests with TrackMoist. Dirt surfaces will be used in events such as Moto X, Super Trucks and BMX Dirt. 20 hours of live programming on ESPN, ABC Television and associated digital platforms expands the reach of this annual extreme sports celebration to a broad audience in the USA and beyond.
Photo: Preparations at Circuit of the Americas, Texas
It was a pleasure to hear from Stouffville Auto Wash and Detailing Centre today about their use of 1000+ Stain Remover in their detailing operations. They contacted us to acquire more product. The reason that they wanted the 20 Liter size (5 Gallon) instead of the convention commercial 1 Gallon size is that they have created a customized station for pumping 1000+ into spray bottles to mix with water as required for different uses. The operator considers this now a standard part of his operation for best results on the vehicles that he processes. We thank this customer for this special initiative and product friendship.
We very much appreciate the initiative of enthusiasts in various sports fields sharing their positive experiences with TrackMoist from Winning Brands. The example below from Monday May 19th reflects the general tone of people who have first-hand experience with the contribution of TrackMoist to a good event.
Nice picture received from a shareholder in Canada today showing the new format 1000+ Stain Remover bottle on the shelf at Canadian Tire. It is noteworthy that this store location values 1000+ Stain Remover enough to have attached merchandising material to the shelving unit in order to help shoppers discover more about what 1000+ can do for them.
Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta will now have its first retailer of 1000+ Stain Remover – Pongs Do it Best. It is an honour to begin our first relationship with this market. Indonesia has a population over 246 Million, which is close to the United States, making it the 4th most populous nation in the world.
We were pleased to be of service when asked by the host organization to remove stains as they arose. In this case, dried spaghetti sauce from organizer shirt sleeve. Nobody likes stains – and they keep coming through normal living. That’s why 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution has so much to give, here and everywhere.
I often emphasize the importance of putting oneself at the front line, meeting our retailers in person, as a reality check.
At the Do it Best Spring Market the key is to speak with stores who already carry the product and ask them the most important question: “How is 1000+ doing for you?”
Phil Meyer, of the family-owned Meyer’s Lumber in Kentucky took a minute to share his experience. Although each store encounter is unique, there is a common theme that is positive. Phil Meyer’s comments are representative of the store owners who already carry 1000+ Stain Remover. They are gradually getting to know it, bit by bit. The breakthrough comes when they choose to start using it themselves as a “reach for it first” solution when messes happen.
Winning Brands’ goal is to increase awareness amongst stores and consumers so that these experiences will be typical coast-to-coast and 1000+ will become a consumer product favourite. Thank’s Phil Meyer, one of tens of thousands of hardware store owners who are proud when they can provide their consumers with something that they believe in themselves.
Video Link: Do it Best Spring Market Testimonial May 17 14
More Radio Control action. TrackMoist from Winning Brands is pleased to be given the opportunity to begin work at Fast Lane Raceway in Blue Springs, Missouri. Trials begin by the end of May for the big race coming up.
Video link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYbw6xcN9Xw
To supplement the filing of the Annual Report itself that was made on March 31st, 2014, an Attorney Opinion Letter has now been filed with OTC Markets as well confirming the sufficiency and compliance of the filing with the Alternative Reporting Guidelines of OTC Markets. Accordingly, the OTC Markets Current Information Tier will be granted again soon.
It is a pleasure to have Utica Rome Speedway join the community of facilities using TrackMoist from Winning Brands to condition their track. Uttica Rome Speedway is a happening place, or as Uttica puts it, ‘The Action Track of the East”. Website Link: www.UticaRomeSpeedway.com
We are looking forward to positive experiences and new product friendships in Viet Nam as an entry point for South East Asia. The special business model designed for this initiative is described in the Winning Brands News Release of May 8, 2014. The Viet Nam packaging for 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution is shown below.
Yesterday’s in-store merchandising event for 1000+ at a location of Canadian Tire included positive feedback about 1000+ from customers and staff alike. The “Ladies Night” format of this event generated a nice atmosphere and provided an opportunity to share experiences. 1000+ Stain Remover gift baskets are always popular. Some consumers are discovering 1000+ for the first time because certain stores are upgrading shelf positioning of 1000+ , putting us beside national brands. Some shoppers will pick us up instead of the national brand to “check us out” and experiment. Some will like what they find and a new customer is born. Quality of placement matters. Examples of shelf presence beside national brands is shown below (taken recently at a different stores).
Fans of the Radio Control Racing hobby know that the Thornhill Racing Circuit near Austin, Texas is awesome. It is the largest 1/8 scale off-road track in the United States. The results of recent testing with TrackMoist were awesome too. Accordingly, TrackMoist from Winning Brands is being introduced to groom the track. Thank you, Thornhill, for your leadership in this sector. Video of the facility is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuR6cYS_eJE. The Facebook link is here: https://www.facebook.com/ThornhillRacingCircuit
The Attorney Opinion Letter which will complete the 2013 annual filing will be uploaded next week, at which time the Winning Brands Current Information Tier will be renewed. This should have been completed by May 1st. It was delayed for practical reasons unrelated to the report itself.
A Lowe’s store in Canada invited us to meet their contractors this week. In the hospitality area outside the store, a BBQ was being held for the contractors. A blotch of red graffiti in the BBQ area (on the building exterior) was unsightly. Our representative took the initiative to get rid of it in front of the assembled group. The pictures below show the removal of the paint. It was a nice moment for 1000+ and fun to be of service. It was a real-world example that the contractors could relate to. Thank you Lowe’s for your invitation this week.
Additions to the TrackMoist community. Better facilities are on the lookout for ways to improve the contestant and spectator experience. This weekend, we welcome several new facilities and events to the TrackMoist experience, from Winning Brands. These facilities will be testing and introducing TrackMoist to their operations for the first time. We respect their forward thinking and thank them for letting us begin our service to them.
The new look treatment of 1000+ Stain Remover as been well received for the regular sized bottles, so the new format has been carried over to the 4oz “Handy Size” (125 mL), with the first shipment out from the warehouse yesterday. It’s going to Lancaster Distribution in the USA. The Handy Size bottle benefits enormously from the bolder product name. It is easier to read from a distance, is simpler yet interesting, and now ties into the companion regular size for the first time. The Handy Size is usually displayed in stores in 12-pack merchandising cartons as an impulse item. The new look and former look are both shown below.
New Handy Size Label Treatment:
Former Handy Size Treatment:
Thank you Handyman Home Center in The Philippines for your 3rd order of 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution, received today. There are nice people everywhere who enjoy convenient multi-purpose clean-ups to keep things in good shape. We are pleased that this well-known retailer in The Philippines is helping Winning Brands make new product friends locally. The population of The Philippines has increased from approximately 26 million in 1960 to almost 100 million today. The 1000+ Stain Remover brand is well suited to become known and appreciated worldwide.
If you are around Columbus, Mississippi starting Saturday April 19th, then you’ll be at the latest place where TrackMoist Soil Conditioner and Dust Suppressant is going into service. We welcome Magnolia Motor Speedway to the community of TrackMoist customers. For your interest, a video link is included below the photograph.
Cotton Pickn’ 100 at Magnolia Motorspeedway on YouTube:
It’s great to receive confirmation that our third commercial shipment of over one thousand bottles of 1000+ Stain Remover arrived in the U.K. this week.
A first order might be considered an experiment. The second order a lucky break. Third time is a charm because it shows that consumers in England who have discovered our product are responding positively to 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution.
Thank you Repair Products of London!
Winning Brands has been invited to participate in the 2014 Do it Best Spring Market to be held at the Indianapolis Convention Center mid-May. Attendance by vendors is through selection of the Do it Best merchandising team. Participating is a priviledge, not a right. We will be able to showcase Winning Brands’ bright new label treatment and our new point-of-purchase merchandising units. It is an opportunity to exceed the current count of almost 1,000 stores who have placed an initial order. Boosting awareness amongst those who have not yet placed their opening orders, but are attending the Spring Market, could do this. We have excellent growth potential with this partner because of the number of stores in the Do it Best system. Do it Best is a member-owned co-operative serviing over 3,000 independent hardware retailers across America, plus additional affiliated stores interntionally who draw from Do it Best through freight fowarders in Miami and Los Angeles. Meeting existing Do it Best customer stores in person will deepen ties that are already in place. It is always a joy to meet existing satisfied customers. It is Winning Brands’ business plan that its lead product, 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution, becomes a commonly listed item in the 40,000 store North American hardware store lanscape so that it can be found by consumers almost anywhere.
Amongst the many family oriented events at the ACM Experience in Las Vegas this weekend is bull-riding at the new shopping area called the Linq April 5 – 7 (by Harrah’s). Our TrackMoist soil conditioning and dust suppressant is already being used and generating interest amongst event managers. If a TrackMoist event photo from the scene becomes available, it will be added here. In the meantime, some event info below:
I ocassionally share testimonials here when they make an interesting point. The testimonial below, received yesterday, is striking for its sheer enthusiasm. One of the joys in providing a consumer product is to experience our customers’ satisfaction. For all the business concern that one might have that cleaning products is a competitive arena (what isn’t?), this correspondent’s enthusiasm proves that there are all kinds of new customer friends out there waiting to be discovered. The background to this testimonial is that the correspondent had asked about additional locations where she could purchase 1000+ because she was down to the last bit of her current bottle. We are grateful for the spirit and iniiative that is behind such unsolicited correspondence from customers.
…Thank you very much for the information. The minute I received your e-mail I took off to Home Depot. Two new bottles are now on my shelves! And because I was so excited to find it, and wouldn’t shut up about how great it is, the cashier is going to give it a try as well. The product was easily found on the shelves in the paint department at Home Depot. Well, I’m off to do the ubiquitous load of laundry. Thanks again, Sincerely, R.A.
Winning Brands is preparing to relaunch professional wetcleaning solutions into the dry cleaning sector in 2014.
We had been confined in implementing our business plan for this sector for several years because of contract arrangements. They limited our role to manufacturing our Smart brand on an exclusive basis, rather than being able to to market our brand independently. These constraints have expired. Winning Brands can now apply its own initiatives to attain a larger footprint in this sector.
Today, details of a pilot project were reviewed with a chain of professional cleaners converting from dry cleaning to wetcleaning. The goal of the pilot project is to earn approval of Winning Brands’ products as the official wetcleaning cleaning agents for the garments here. Our new brand name for this sector, BRILLIANT Professional Wetcleaning Solutions, is being introduced at this pilot project as well. The pilot project reflects a new phase of our technical accomplishment for this sector. That is because the BRILLIANT brand has advanced relative to our earlier wetcleaning products known as Smart.
The photos below show professional wetcleaning equipment with specialized internal chambers that combine water and cleaning agents in a unique way to permit processing of ”Dry Clean Only” articles without the use of Perchloroethylene. Perc is a controversial conventional solvent that is declining in use for environmental reasons.
Winning Brands is being welcomed into new relationships and opportunities because of Winning Brands’ technical performance and ability to collaborate effectively. It was a pleasure to review the pilot project plans today with our prospective customer!
A news release will be issued if this location makes its launch with Winning Brands official.
We welcome the Westbrook Hunt Club in Connecticut to the community of customers of TrackMoist soil conditioning and dust suppression solution. There are many equestrian facilities in this category across America and beyond. We are pleased to be of service here and look forward to earning more product friendships within this sector for TrackMoist from Winning Brands.
Winning Brands welcomes the team at INCHEM in Poland to our distribution network. Their website link is here: http://www.inchem.pl/eng/ INCHEM looks forward to helping Winning Brands make inroads in their market region. The relationship follows months of negotiation regarding shared long term goals. Our first operating project was to prepare for INCHEM’s launch of 1000+ Stain Remover at the 20th Anniversary of the InterBuild Expo in Kiev, Ukraine this week, together with other INCHEM products that are complementary to 1000+ but not competitive. http://www.buildexpo.kiev.ua/
The current political headlines about Ukraine are not very relevant to us. Like most headlines, the focus is on the negative and the sensational. The reality on the ground is that life carries on with commerce of all sorts amongst a population of over 40 million. INCHEM is based in Poland and has a staffed office in Kiev which services retailers locally. The many useful characteristics of 1000+ make the product ideal for mutual development between INCHEM and Winning Brands for their region. Winning Brands is in a product category that is not socially or politically controversial, nor restricted. The politics of a region have little bearing on the ability of 1000+ to be of service to people wherever they are. It is a pleasure to form new product friendships with nice people everywhere.
The pictures below are of our booth being set-up for the launch bottle for that market the following day, in bilingual local languages, while retaining 1000+ Stain Remover trade dress. Our colleague in the picture is General Manager, Andrzej (“Andy”).
Thank you, Tony Stone, for your initiative in adding 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution, to your Porter Paints outlet. Tony’s store is called Franklin County Paints located in Winchester, Tennessee. Tony confirmed receipt today of his custom rolling merchandising display unit for the opening inventory.
Tony’s store video link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfosAb0SrdQ The video shows how important word-of-mouth is in earning a good reputation, like the good reputation of 1000+ Stain Remover amongst consumers who use 1000+ and the stores that carry it. That’s one of reasons that Tony’s store chose to join the 1000+ retailer team.
Winning Brands often receives testimonials from people who have reached for 1000+ to deal with spills and messes that happen in painting projects and go on to experiment with other uses. These consumers express appreciation for the help that we have provided. Their testimonials are a nice reminder of the many product friendships with customers that have developed over time.
TrackMoist has been chosen as the soil conditioning solution for Sweeny MX in Oklahoma, with the start of the season April 27th weekend. The following is a live link to YouTube showing the facility in use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4ocN7iAYhk Welcome aboard Sweeny MX, and thank you for allowing us to be your soil conditioning solution provider.
I have recently been asked by a shareholder who wrote to the company whether I would be willing to review the online discussion boards in order to respond to so-called negative posts. This request seems to have been prompted by his frustration that many friendly shareholder posts in discussion boards are deleted by moderators if the posts are supportive of the company.
I think it is appropriate that I agree to this request and am placing the response on this widely seen CEO Weblog for several reasons.
The first reason is that Winning Brands has always been more responsive than most of its peers in the Pink Sheets OTC environment to shareholder communication, regardless of its tone. The company is accessible and this sets us apart. Secondly, the purpose of the CEO Weblog is to discuss both the company’s progress and challenges; it is fitting that criticism of the company is acknowledged and addressed in the CEO Weblog for the benefit of weblog readers who do not go to the discussion boards, so that they know that the criticism exists, and what the core concerns are. Thirdly, it is not clear to what extent negative comments on discussion boards are “sincerely” critical, or are based on inaccurate assessments or have ulterior motives. Some of the most negative remarks are posted by anonymous people who acknowledge that they are not shareholders. Their posts in other discussion boards (about other companies) are often negative as well. By drawing attention to such negative concerns about Winning Brands in the CEO Weblog, I can help prospective investors (who are considering buying Winning Brands shares for the first time) to be aware of the existence of these concerns. It’s dry reading because of the quantity of detailed information, but important and helpful for any genuinely interested party. The points below are only some of the concerns. Others will be responded to as well.
1. Reverse Split (and no subsequent uplisting)
It has been said that the company promised that it would never reverse split its stock. In reality, the company did not promise that a reverse split would ”never” occur. It did promise that a reverse split, if it occured, would be made for the purpose of an uplisting to a higher quotation tier, such as OTCQB. Such elevation requires registration with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Therefore, following the reverse split April 25, 2013 auditors and attorneys were identified who would be prepared to participate in the process of registration for Winning Brands. This involves a retroactive audit of two years, plus an interim stub period for the balance sheets. Also, it is necessary to complete an S-1 registration application. The professional fees for these two steps exceed $50,000 and the outcome is not certain. This is because the S-1 process is an application; becoming registered is not a “right”. The SEC reviews, comments and requests modification of the S-1 application. No guarantee is provided by the SEC that the outcome will be favourable. For this reason, it is important to be ready when submitting the S-1 registration application that issues of interest to the file reviewers are addressed in advance. This minimizes cost overruns and reduces uncertainties during the SEC commenting period. In the case of Winning Brands, a partial deposit restriction of the type affecting many OTC stocks, also called a “chill”, is an additional factor. It has been in place for three years. It constrains trading on some platforms and not others. It would appear that E-trade, Fidelity, Scott Trade and Charles Schwab are not affected, whereas TD Ameritrade and some others are. Elevation to the next level in our case requires coordination of these three issues, not merely two. The current status of our desire to elevate Winning Brands to OTCQB through registration is that the PCAOB certified auditor (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) agrees that completion of our 3(a)10 debt settlement process, which was announced in our previous public filing at www.OTCMarkets.com, is desirable so that the SEC has a clear record of how the company dealt with the share issuances associated with the 3(a)10, within the registration documents. It is the duration of the 3(a)10 process that is not yet known.
This process, referred to in our most recent OTC Markets public filing, is a method to settle debt on a non-cash basis. It is beneficial because not only is the debt reduced, so too are the associated interest costs. 3(a)10 is granted by one of several courts considered by the SEC to have sufficient authority and objectivity to approve the issuance of free-trading shares to qualified creditors. No proceeds of the sale of these shares by creditors may come to Winning Brands. It is not a method of financing. It is purely a method by which willing creditors are satisfied to accept shares in lieu of cash to consider themselves repaid. This is helpful to Winning Brands as it will permit the reduction of liabilities on the balance sheet, contributing to the company being more attractive to friendly investment. Like all things in life, this process has varying standards of quality, depending upon who is carrying it out. In our case, we are being careful to observe the spirit of the legislation to ensure that only creditors and lenders benefit – and that no funds come back to the company as investment. Doing this correctly takes time. Therefore, although the balance sheet will improve in 2014 as a result of the 3(a)10, the process does not provide the company with further working capital. Lack of working capital has a bearing on the company’s ability to generate sales. This is also the reason that the company has not yet implemented a reduction of its authorized share count. It would be cynical to decrease it to a much lower figure prior to knowing what degree of dilution is required to complete the 3(a)10. An earlier expressed intention to reduce the authorized share count was made before it was confirmed that Winning Brands would qualify for the 3(a)10. These elements are interconnected. The company is being conservative in discussing these points presently so as not to alter its position needlessly.
3. DTC (Depository Trust Corporation) Chill
The reason that Winning Brands has a chill is that a former subscriber to a Regulation D, Rule 504 financing, did not hold his shares long enough as required in regulations governing this form of investment. The DTC would prefer to see the resolution of the SEC’s position on that subscriber’s issues with the SEC because it has occured before for that subscriber with other companies. Therefore, the chill is not a complaint against Winning Brands, but rather concern with a 504 subscriber. The background administrative mechanisms that cause the imposition of, and eventural removal of, a chill can take a very long time. It is the DTC’s publicly stated position that a successful SEC registration is relevant in a decision of whether to remove a chill. This is possibly because registration formally accounts for the progression of shares from an unregistered life to a registered life, and thus more clearly sets out what is available to the public (and what is passing through the clearing system) and why. The current status of our DTC chill removal is a dual process of awaiting the legal resolution between the 504 subscriber and the SEC in matters between them while also obtaining confirmation from the DTC whether our S-1 registration, as presently conceived, will be satisfactory.
4. Poor Sales
Winning Brands sales have remained stable for several years, and declined in 2013, rather than growing. The expectation for a hot penny stock is that the company’s product sales will go through the roof. If a company’s product has been around for several years, then the conventional wisdom is that the product, or the company, or its CEO, or all three are not up to the task and the company will never amount to anything. The problem with that reasoning is that it ignores the fact that the majority of penny stocks have little or no sales, yet many have very high market capitalization – ocassionally up to $100 Million, even when there is no company revenue whatsoever. By that standard, Winning Brands is significantly underpriced, if one feels the company will succeed. The reason that I feel the company will succeed is that despite a lack of impressive sales, the company has impressive consumer relationships and several very good retailer relationships. The central argument about the company’s ability to soar are based on its ability to create sufficient awareness of its lead product through effective marketing. Naturally, there are many opinions as to what constitutes effective marketing. Since WNBD began trading, in aggregate, several million dollars of our products has been moved through retailers. The cost to Winning Brands of doing so, however, has been higher than the realized profit. This is why Winning Brands has a working capital deficit. However, the annual operating loss has been declining since 2009. In other words, despite the sales challenge, the company’s net financial performance has actually been improving. Also, there continues to be a flow of positive consumer feedback, good retailer engagement and lessons learned about the combination of the two. If Winning Brands can increase its marketing visibility, sales will increase commensurately. Most consumers have not yet heard of the company’s products – that is why the potential of Winning Brands is so great. If most consumers had heard of our lead product 1000+ and rejected it through disatisfaction, then the situation would be completely different. However, in reality, the vast majority of North Americans are completely unaware of the existence of this very useful product. Consumers who have discovered 1000+ (and our other products), seem to like them, and they let us know how much through testimonials. Winning Brands’ operating goal is to increase consumer awareness and achieve major tipping points in distribution. Slow, organic growth is not viable because the costs of waiting are too high. The most impactful tipping point would be the listing of Winning Brands’ lead product, 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Stain Remover, by a corporately operated national banner in the USA.
5. Lack of USA national banner
The three most important banners for Winning Brands in this context are Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart. Our product has earned its place on the shelves of all three of these banners in Canada. Winning Brands has a relationship with all three U.S. parent offices also, including formal vendor numbers, but not yet a national on-the-shelf presence in the USA. Home Depot USA has placed 1000+ Stain Remover into its online offerings at www.HomeDepot.com. Lowe’s USA has been testing 1000+ at three Lowe’s locations in Ohio. Walmart USA has tested 1000+ at its Sam’s Club division. All three banners are happy with the product, satisfied with Winning Brands as a vendor but have not yet committed to a roll-out nationally. We have come close to larger regional tests, but circumstances on the retailers’ end has delayed that for a number of reasons. The protracted nature of these delays give critics the message that it will never happen. In the company’s opinion, that assessment would be more logical if these three retailers chose to end their relationship with us - that would be easy enough for them to do. Some version of a brief e-mail asking us not to bother them anymore would take one minute to send. Yet, they have not done so. Securing any one of these three national banners would instantly make Winning Brands financially self-sufficient allowing us to move from being an aspiring brand requiring funding to survive into a brand with traction that can be confident of its future and grow much faster with a distribution platform of a national retailer for national advertising purposes. The dramatic impact on Winning Brands of securing such a national banner can be determined by extrapolating the sales numbers that we have with the stores in the Canadian subsidiaries. The stores are virtually identical in concept and layout between the two markets. Throughout this prolonged waiting period it has been possible to calculate what the impact would be for Winning Brands of increasing its national big box store count by a combined 8,000 locations. This may never be achieved. But then again, it may be. It is simply not known at this point. The criticism of which you should be aware is that the prospective banner partners could have acted by now if they intended to. Their failure to list nationally may represent indifference or even a negative orientation. It is the position of Winning Brands management that the U.S. headquarters would not be wasting their time with us if there were no interest, nor would our presence in their Canadian stores be sustained and even nurtured. It is possible that they are assessing whether the brand has staying power and will continue to build loyalty amonst its existing consumers. In the meantime, we are seeking expanded presence in independently owned retailers. The principal distribution channel is hardware, accounting for a potential 40,000 locations across a range of co-operatives and locally owned outlets. Do it Best, with 3,500 affiliated stores is an example of one cooperative. Others include Ace and True Value. We have made some progress, but need to perform much better to make a real difference.
6. Lack of activity or sporadic activity in other Winning Brands products
The company is considered by critics to have abandoned or botched other product launches, and even that reference by Winning Brands management to other products is a diversionary tactic. The reality is more nuanced. The business plan calls for focus on a lead product to achieve national or international prominence. The others are follow-through products. What is less obvious is that the competitive marketplace calls for continuous product development. A static product is a sitting duck, waiting to become obsolete. Accordingly, we have been using this period (i.e. while the lead product seeks traction) to keep refining the follow-through products with R&D and small scale tests with key partners. The reason that we do not substitute one of the follow-through products for 1000+ is that 1000+ has unique techncial and branding elements which make it suitable to become a household name across tens of thousands of retail points of sale in North America and beyond. If the right tipping points occur, then this model has been shown in the case of other relevant consumer product precedents to have dramatic financial consequences. Even with 1000+ Stain Remover, there have been refinements to respond to learning in the marketplace. The name change from Winning Colours was very well received by retailers.. The new package treatment, including new label and bottle both, have been appreciated by retailers whose personnel, and buyers, prefer the brighter bolder look, with good shelf presence and complete elimination of bottle pannelling (a form of gradual deformation that arose from an interaction of the product and its container). For several practical reasons, more will be heard about Winning Brands’ other products going forward. Several behind-the-scenes events, such as the retirement of formerly exclusive distributors, new alliances, etc are emerging. In the case of TrackMoist, to give one example, Winning Brands had been lacking an operational field team for this specialized soil conditioner for dirt entertainment surfaces. This has been rectified. Also, there were new environmental regulations looming that needed to be addressed. Now in 2014 TrackMoist is more visible than previously, and implementation is likely to recover. The new website is www.TrackMoist.com Other Winning Brands products will have their first-ever dedicated websites in 2014 as well. From a critic’s perspective, the special concern for possible investors should be that the failure of these various projects to take off sooner is a sign of weakness, failure or incompetence. The company’s perspective, however, is that the perseverance shown by Winning Brands to stay on mission and retain respectful relationships with a variety of commercial parties in all of its endeavours can just as much lead to breakthrough-events eventually. The role of the penny stock environment is to provide a setting in which interested investors and companies can meet and take risks in the pursuit of rewards.
7. Losses by shareholders
Critics would like you to know that many long term shareholders have lost a great deal of money by holding on to their shares. Here again, the reality is more nuanced. WNBD began trading in 2006. A review of all trades ever made, and all prices ever paid, is possible. Records of these transactions are permanent. They reveal that in terms of dollar volume, a period of several years existed with enormous liquidity and gradually increasing lows. Close to $80 Million worth of shares were traded during this period. A great deal of profit was made by persons who bought at what they perceived as lows (including the triple zeros) and what they perceived as the highs. As a result, it is a myth that a large number of Winning Brands common shareholders have been with the firm as holders since inception. The share turnover proves otherwise. There are some very long term shareholders, but a much smaller number than claimed by critics. The company has consistently asked long term shareholders to make themselves known to the company. Through the years, the aggregate number to have responded is less than 100, whereas at any point in time, there may be several thousand people in and out on a trading basis, according to the formal Non-Objecting Beneficial Owner List (NOBO), which sets out how many shareholders have their shares in street form with brokerage accounts. The important point here is that no loss is “acceptable”. The company strives to accomplish a mission and to provide a platform for speculation or investment as best suits the profile of the participant. The company aspires to being worthy of long term relationships, but cannot define in each case what that means for each individual. Over the years, many people have made a profit from their investment in Winning Brands. After taking their profit, some reinvested a smaller amount. There is a broad range of experiences - several thousand people have purchased, and sold, WNBD. The most respectful thing that the company can do for its shareholders is be clear in describing what it is trying to accomplish, provide information that illustrates progress (or lack thereof) and to encourage discussion with the company to ensure that the views of its shareholders are understood, including suggestions where applicable. Winning Brands files financial statements regularly. Sometimes they are late by a few days. They are always of sufficient quality in content to have earned the highest trading tier available to non-reporting issuers, the “Current Information Tier”. The history of public filings by Winning Brands demonstrates respectful, consistent disclosure, with no attempt to conceal the extent of the challenges, nor any attempt to conceal the enthusiasm by Winning Brands to accomplish a terrific undertaking. We are passionate about creating a national consumer brand(s) with all the exciting potential that flows from that difficult accomplishment, if attained.
The purpose of replying to these 7 points above is to ensure that you know that certain posters on discussion forums would like to you fully understand the risk involved with Winning Brands. They feel the company cannot, and will not “make it”. They wish that you would find another place to put your money.
Thank you for your interest in Winning Brands. I would be pleased to hear from you.
Eric Lehner, CEO
Of interest to shareholders: Home Depot Canada, which has 1000+ Stain Remover on the shelf in most stores now, provides shelf-count inventory to the general public online, by entering a postal code and viewing nearby stores. For example, the screen shot below shows the number of 1000+ Stain Remover bottles on the shelves of Home Depot stores around Edmonton, Alberta.
It was a pleasure to be invited back to Lowe’s for more in-store promotion on Saturday, this time with larger displays. Below is an assortment of photos. Interaction with store associates is a further benefit of such joint exercises. Such opportunities are by invitation only – that’s why we appreciate them so much.
The note and photo below were received today from Texas:
Thank you very much for getting the sample Track Moist to me in time for our race here in Hutto, Texas. We had a great turnout at over 210….and the track turned out fantastic….best ever. I have attached a picture of how well the track blue-grooved in….wide and great traction. (We did put the track Moist on at double strength.) I am talking to other track owners in the area…
Winning Brands supported the Lancaster Dealer Market in Louisville, Kentucky February 22-23 by being present to meet with attending dealers and discuss ways to build momentum together. It is a pleasure to hear first-hand dealer experiences with 1000+ Stain Remover and to discuss in-store marketing ideas. The photos below include a retailer from the Bahamas who carries 1000+, colleagues in the industry confering on trends, Lancaster personnel, and the 1000+ Stain Remover demonstration station.
Placement of 1000+ Stain Remover varies between stores. We were delighted to see this proud new display (photo below) by a member of the Home Hardware co-operative featuring 1000+ Stain Remover prominently in the Cleaning Department. It is an honour when a store takes such initiatives completely on their own, based on their first-hand knowledge of 1000+ Stain Remover and their satisfaction with Winning Brands as a supplier. Much appreciated.
1000+ Stain Remover brochures designed specifically for the Home Depot banner (to align with the chain’s visual identity and marketing theme) have been requested by Home Depot Quebec stores for the first time. This is In response to a positive experience by Home Depot stores elsewhere in Canada with the first run. The French language version print run was completed today and will be distributed to participating stores in Quebec through the Home Depot Merchandising Execution Team. We very much appreciate the opportunity that we are being given to improve our connection to Home Depot’s Quebec customers.
TrackMoist website has been launched today: www.TrackMoist.com The display is compatible for conventional or mobile device searches. The website will make it easier for interested customers to connect with Winning Brands and for TrackMoist to gain momentum. This is the first of several new product-specific websites that Winning Brands will be launching for its brands in 2014.
Thank you to an observant shareholder who noticed that a Walmart store near them had taken the initiative to expland placement of 1000+ Stain Remover in that Walmart location beyond the Paint Department for the first time, to the Cleaning Department, as well. We are grateful for the initiative by that Walmart location to find a place for 1000+ beside Drano, Lysol, Greenworks and other national brands. Photo below. It’s a nice gesture of opportunity for the 1000+ Stain Remover brand by the Walmart store. We are not aware of ever having been added to the Walmart cleaning aisle before. Much appreciated!
I was invited to say hello at Money for Lunch Show with host Bert Martinez today. There is a live link below. Our chat begins at the 30 minute mark. There was no fee paid for this appearance.
A significant increase in buying of WNBD is bringing new shareholders to Winning Brands. Since mid-December to today, approximately 12 million shares have been purchased. For new readers of the Winning Brands CEO Weblog, remember these additional resources:
Product website: www.1000Plus.ca
Examples of TrackMoist site applications this week for improved performance on the dirt surface:
Monster Jam, Charleston West Virginia, Charleston Civic Center, Jan 31 – February 1
Monster Jam, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas, February 1st
Ford Built Tought PBR Sacremento, California, Sleep Train Arena, February 1st
In connection with a Lowe’s promotion in Toronto, 1000+ Stain Remover has for the first time had in-store merchandising included. (Pictures below) Store management invited us to review their plans and it was a pleasure meeting store staff and hearing how they have personally enjoyed using 1000+ in stain rescue situations. Such goodwill from front-line staff in such a fine retailer is one of the reasons that Winning Brands remains dedicated to its mission to have1000+ Stain Remover become a household name and favourite in its cateogory. We appreciate this Toronto store’s initiative – the first of its kind with us at Lowe’s in Canada.
We welcome Randy Spraggins of Special-T Tracks in his role of applications expert for TrackMoist. Randy is respected in the industry and knows about the usefulness of TrackMoist in the field of soil conditioning in entertainment/sports venues from first-hand knowlege .
New business momentum for TrackMoist arises from the fact that we can now combine sales and service in a way that was not previously possible. The Special-T Tracks crew will be the team providing advice to TrackMoist customers from first-hand experience. That TrackMoist experience is on-going and always growing through their own use. Winning Brands will also be able, for the first time, to address enquires from people wanting to suppress dust elsewhere than entertainment/sports venues because of the expansion of our field trials in this new initiative. The combination of technical progress with the product itself, and the front-line practical work that will now be ongoing with TrackMoist will increase TrackMoist activity in 2014. TrackMoist bottlenecks have been removed so that we can enjoy new momentum in this sector. It’s a very good development. Below the picture of TrackMoist is a video link for you to see the nature of the work that Randy and his crew performs.
Live Link to Video Showing Special-T Tracks Crew and the nature of the work:
It’s great to see that 1000+ Stain Remover is very recently gaining added visibility through special placement in some settings of Lowe’s Canada. The Paint Department below, which has access to all solvents and cleaners available to North American retailers, displays one liquid stain remover and cleaning solution in its coveted impluse buying section at the Paint Desk. It is 1000+ Stain Remover, shown here with its bright new label treatment (now arriving into Canadian Lowe’s store inventory). The label was developed with consultation and feedback from our retailers and their store associates – and is being welcomed by them.
Gestures of cooperation by prominent and respected retailers, such as special placement initiatives like this, validate Winning Brands’ determination that 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution achieve its rightful place as a household name and a favourite consumer product.
We will continue to work as hard as necessary to earn the confidence of retailers across the board, and consumers, to achieve this. We very much appreciate the cooperation of the many positive people with whom we have the priviledge to work toward this goal. It’s a very difficult task, but that is why the rewards are so high for the few that succeed.
It’s great to see that our new 1000+ label treatment is also finding its way to Home Depot Canada shelves now to replace the previous generation of our packaging. Something like this takes a while to work its way through the distribution system, but it was worth the effort. Our new branding has terrific shelf presence.
On a technical note, it is interesting that our larger size offers better value to the consumer too, on the basis of unit volume, compared to the well known competitor to the left. The consumer has to pay 1.5 cents per mL for the other brand rather than 1.08 cents per mL for ours. In other words, the buyer of our regular sized bottle gets 38% more product for money and far more versatility of uses. That’s only one of the reasons that we have much room for growth for the 1000+ Stain Remover brand.
We receive shareholder questions from time to time about re-orders by stores; how often, how much, what is the trend, what accounts for variations, etc.
We provide occasional specific store banner statistics, but avoid routinely publicizing store activity by banner name as as a courtesy to them as well as for other reasons. For general interest, however, we have put together a chart (below) showing the activity of one Winning Brands distributor who supplies a number of stores, for an 11 month period in 2013, for the regular size 1000+ Stain Remover bottle, by sumary units for a representative sampling.
The purpose is to illustrate that the unit volume of re-orders varies considerably from month to month and does not follow a clear pattern, with the exception of a general build-up during the warmer months relative to winter time. The charts are similar for our other distributors - substantial variation from month to month – but continuous re-ordering nonetheless.
We are encouraged by the fact that tens of thousands of households make our lead product a regular part of their life. Our goal is to increase this number to hundreds of thousands of households, and eventually to millions of households. There is room for profound growth by Winning Brands because so few people have heard of our brands yet. Obvious repeat purchasing, customer satisfaction and dedication to mission makes a solid foundation for this objective.
New Member in the Family – One Gallon KIND Laundry Detergent with Gentlr(TM) Technology for Sensitive Skin
We are proud to welcome this new format to the KIND Laundry Product line. KIND Laundry Detergent in the one gallon SKU delivers 128 loads of finely-tuned laundry treatment for gentless to skin, fabrics and the environment. Our proprietary Gentlr(TM) Technology represents continuous progression of our cleaning agents and manufacturing methods to achieve these desirable outcomes – while maintaining the performance necessary to be mainstream competitive in cleaning results and price. Mother Ease Diapers is the first to have taken delivery. In addition to their retail location in St. Catharines, Ontario Mother Ease can ship KIND anywhere in North America. Their website is here: www.mother-ease.com
Here is a link to the KIND Laundry Detergent one gallon SKU and Gentlr(TM) Technology News Release:
HomeDepot.com now includes 1000+ Stain Remover in the “Ship to Store” program. This was not previously the case. It means that consumers who would rather pick-up their online purchase of 1000+ Stain Remover (from HomeDepot.com) can now collect it at the Home Depot store closest to him/her (or another location if they choose for some reason). Home Depot Ship-to-Store Service is not new, and covers many products, but now includes 1000+ Stain Remover too. Previously it was necessary to ask for help of local store staff to organize it. It has gone through a test phase and now seems to be operational for all 1000+ consumers. We appreciate this step by Home Depot.
Thank you, Do it Best, for continued work with Winning Brands to introduce 1000+ Stain Remover to stores and consumers. Updated numbers received today. 945 Do it Best stores have now become acquainted with the product, placing replenishment orders 1,607 times for an aggregate of 17,886 bottles of mixed sizes. Winning Brands marketing initiatives with DIB in 2014 are likely to be stronger than in 2013. This will help us cross the 1,000 store mark, so that we can start to move toward the next threshold of 2,000 member stores. Since launching with the Do it Best hardware cooperative, we have had no consumer complaints passing back to us through the DIB system, nor complaints from the DIB stores themselves about doing business with us. We are proud of having earned this high level of satisfaction. It reflects our dedication to the mission and our sincere respect for our customers.
A major overhaul is being made by the General Services Administration to its procurement protocol. The change has been under consideration for much of this year, but it is now certain to be implemented. The gist of the change, known as the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) is to radically reduce the number of primary contractors across several categories of supply. In the case of janitorial and sanitation supplies, for example, it will reduce the number of suppliers from approximately 1,000 to 21, of whom only 6 will supply cleaning compounds.
The Blanket Purchase Agreement protocol for merely studying the application is nearly 100 pages long as the core document, not including many ancillary documents. It is so burdensome that it effectively precludes most businesses from qualifying. There has been an outpouring of protest from the ISSA, the world’s largest cleaning industry association, based in Illinois. The following is a link that describes the ISSA’s position on the subject and is a very helpful backgrounder: http://www.fmlink.com/article.cgi?type=News&archive=false&title=ISSA%20protests%20impact%20of%20GSA%20federal%20strategic%20sourcing%20initiative%20on%20jansan%20industry&mode=source&catid=4&display=article&id=45091
The impact on Winning Brands of this policy shift will not be as great as on suppliers who already have more at stake, especially those who only supply “standard” jan/san products. They will see their existing supply contracts ended in most cases, resulting in a loss of existing income. Since Winning Brands had not yet established its supply lines to client agencies, there will be negligible impact on our present business. Instead, we will need to change our approach going forward. Rather than dealing directly with the GSA through a contract under our own legal administration, with all that this entails, we will identify patners who, once approved, can add qualified specialty products because they are BPA suppliers to the agency. Interestingly, we have already been approached by one such condending BPA consolidator. This outreach to us by a major contending BPA supplier confirmed to Winning Brands that the GSA policy change does not spell the end of possibilities for Winning Brands’ future government supply, but rather a change of method. Other suppliers who have only typical or ordinary products and who rely on high volume, low margin, generic supply products are not as fortunate. As the ISSA makes clear in its representation link above, the GSA policy change will hit those companies hard.
This GSA policy change will give Winning Brands greater freedom to identify niches which can be served through the new distributors without Winning Brands itself needing to maintain an administratively complicated reporting protocol that carried contractual limitations of what pricing we could charge other customers, minimum fees, minimum annual dollar turnover, separate EDI, inspection of facilities to comply with a variety of code issues, etc. Those administrative functions will now be performed by the “consolidators” – holders of the new Blanket Purchase Agreements. Since Winning Brands cannot have it “both ways”, i.e. trying to be a consolidator while also trying to be a supplier to consolidators, Winning Brands has voted with its feet and provided its GSA Contract Resignation on good terms rather than try to be one of the consolidators.
Bottom line: Our aspiration to one day supply the U.S. government with a meaningful quantity of product will be reconceived through partnerships rather than directly, with the result of greater flexibility and reduced cost of compliance for Winning Brands.
In replying to our resignation, The GSA, officially affirmed its positive relationship with us through this kind thought “…Thank you for your reply and the best of success in your company’s continued efforts in both the commercial and Governmental marketplace…” The last three words are significant.
Winning Brands is grateful for its continued good standing with its customer organizations, even when circumstances require changing methods. That’s life. Adaptability is a key survival skill for organizations.
With receipt of the official notice below, Winning Brands has again earned renewal of the Current Information Tier designation.
The fact that thousands of non-reporting stock issuers either refuse or are unable to meet the guidelines required to hold the Current Information Tier proves that this formal designation is a meaningful distinction and a source of pride for Winning Brands.
Eric, any progress on the talks with that big box retailer “….(Previous) ANSWER Yes, Winning Brands was invited to participate in a Product Line Review at one of the major retailers in the category in July. We attended and made our case. The PLR process will be completed in August and a decision regarding changes in the category should be known in November.” Anything yet?
All vendors participating in this Line Review have been told by the retailer that their decisions pertaining to this review have been deferred by 60 days. That puts it into the end of January. In my opinion, we should not rely on this, because the line review/listing decisions of the largest chains are increasingly unpredictable despite encouraging intentions that category buyers may have as individuals. In other words, it does not matter how encouraging the retailer is in conversation with the vendor at any and all in-person meetings leading up to their line review decisions, and no matter how much the buyer genuinely likes your product(s) on a personal level, it has become impossible to predict the outcome. I have even had a national buyer make verbal commitments in the presence of others – that have not materialized. Unpredictability seems to have increased in the last few years with the growing adoption by the largest retailers of internal committees. There is also a drive toward SKU reduction across many categories resulting from the slow-down in economic growth during the last few years. It has become impossible in this environment to project a retailer’s final corporate decision based on the intentions of the buyer, even if communicated face to face, until that formal corporate decision emerges from the retailer.
Message of interest below received from L through Facebook yesterday . There are millions of potential customers, just like L, who already have access to the supposed universe of “all those cleaning products out there”. Why then would a such consumers, like L, who discover us, find 1000+ such a refreshing change and take the trouble to tell us how they feel? This is at the heart of why 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution has a great future. We have a real contribution to make and have what it takes to become a household name and favourite in our category. Thank you, L, for introducing yourself. Spread the word! Cheers.
Thank you, Home Hardware stores. We seem to be receiving more invitations to attend your Ladies Night promotions. It’s an honour to be a vendor that stores like to deal with. It’s also terrific to get feedback directly from consumers and to hear first-hand how store staff describe 1000+ Stain Remover to their customers. Meeting people who buy and use 1000+ keeps us “real” when generating marketing materials. Despite the realism, it’s terrific that so much enthusiasm is fed back to us in these events. The photos below were taken yesterday evening. The Ladies Night events generate quite a good turnout.
During a business trip to Montreal this week on a different matter, I had the pleasure of meeting with the owner of one of the city’s leading ecological “dry cleaners”, whose focus is environmental use of “professional wet cleaning” that replaces harsh solvents. Royal considers Winning Brands’ product the preferred method of addressing the wide range of clothing stains in his operation. The website of Royal Nettoyeur Ecologique is below photos and video links. Thank you, Michael, for your hospitality and product friendship!
Live Links to Videos and Website (Below)
…Well Eric it’s been awhile since I last emailed you. I was wondering if you planned on giving us an update on your Navy visit in September…
The meeting with Navy Exchange Command took place on September 4th in Virginia, as planned. It was a good meeting by all the metrics that a supplier usually defines these things. We were told that it was the intention of the Navy to let us know before the end of the year exactly how they would like to proceed. It had been my intention to not post about it until that information is in our hands. This note is merely to confirm receipt of your correspondence and confirm that the meeting took place as posted on August 6th. Respectfully, Eric Lehner
We were pleased to see in the photo below a home improvement retailer choosing to place 1000+ Stain Remover beside an unmistakable iconic brand. The new branding of 1000+ is being well received by staff at the store level. The value and performance proposition of 1000+ Stain Remover is as strong as ever. Product recognition will benefit wherever it can be placed on the shelf beside peer brands who are best known in the category.
We thank an Alberta Manager within the Canadian Tire family of stores, who sent an update October 5th. He accepted Winning Brands’ offer of enhanced in-store merchandising support to reveal high latent interest amongst consumers for a product with the characteristics of 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution.
Canadian Tire is a national chain retailer with approximately 487 stores and 58,000 employees. It has sales of approximately $9 Billion and is one of the best performing public companies in North America. Winning Brands 1000+ Stain Remover is listed with this chain. We have been looking for the method that provides and sustains higher profile for the product in the store.
The Manager’s note below shows the impact of providing better exposure at the store level. We continue to seek ways to make such positive experiences routine, so that our business plan will be realized and 1000+ and Winning Brands both achieve their well-earned success.
1000+ Stain Remover will be part of the Home Hardware Fall Market starting tomorrow, until Tuesday. It is a semi-annual gathering of the co-op member store owners. Home Hardware in Canada is associated with Do-it-Best in the USA. The photos below show two views of our display in which the new generation packaging is being launched formally to this organization.