Apr 15

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1000+ Stain Remover Re-orders: The Philippines

 

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.

 

Picture - Handyman Home Center Philippines

Apr 11

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Winning Brands Welcomes Magnolia Motor Speedway to the TrackMoist Community

 

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.

 

Picture - Magnolia Motor Speedway

 

Cotton Pickn’ 100 at Magnolia Motorspeedway on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ7EW9zxm_o

 

 

Apr 11

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Third time is a charm! Replenishment shipment of 1000+ arrives in U.K.

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!

Picture - UK Flag

Apr 10

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Do it Best Spring Market – Back by Invitation

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.

 

Picture - Do it Best Spring Market

Apr 04

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TrackMoist in Las Vegas this Weekend – Academy of Country Music Experience

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:

Picture - TrackMoist ACM ExperiencePicture - TrackMoist ACM

Apr 04

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Testimonial for 1000+ Stain Remover

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.

Apr 02

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Professional Garment Care Sector – Winning Brands More Active

We have started work with new distribution partners to grow our Professional Wetcleaning solutions.

Winning Brands had been prevented from taking key marketing initiatives in this sector for several years because of contract arrangements which limited our role to manufacturing on an exclusive basis, rather than being able to take marketing steps to project our brand more proactively.  These contraints have expired, enabling Winning Brands to return to the more vigorous approach that we originally wanted in the early days of this project.  This is possible now because we have formed new strategic alliances in which there is mutual agreement to raise the profile of our products.

Today, joint operational planning took place with a chain of Professional Wetcleaning locations.  They had agreed to make our brand the principal product used.  The team emerging includes representatives of the equipment manufacturers as well as management of the chain.  Our new brand name for this sector, BRILLIANT Professional Wetcleaning, is being introduced for this new phase of our work in this sector.  BRILLIANT is also a technical step forward from our earlier products, originally called Smart.

The photos below show the equipment used, with its specialized internal chambers that combine the water and cleaning agents in a unique way to permit the cleaning of many “Dry Clean Only” articles without the use of Perchlorethylene.  Perc is a controversial conventional solvent that is being used less than before, for environmental reasons.  Professional Wetcleaning also uses garment finishing equipment after the cleaning process.  As our strategic partners know, not all cleaning agents are alike.  Based on both our technical performance and our culture, Winning Brands is being welcomed into important new relationships.  It was good to get started today with real practical work in this regard.  This involves things like recalibrating machines, planning a training experience, creating performance metrics, etc.

A news release will be issued when joint marketing details are finalized.

 

Picture - Wetcleaning BRILLIANT

 

Picture - Wetcleaning Chamber Picture - Wetcleaning Performance Whole Service Picture - Wetcleaning Unit Exterior

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Apr 01

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TrackMoist Welcomes Westbrook Hunt Club Equestrian Facility

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.

Picture - TrackMoist Westbrook Hunt Club

Picture - TrackMoist Package 2014

Mar 31

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Annual Report 2013

Shareholders are invited to review the 2013 Annual Report at www.OTCMarkets.com in the filings section.

The graph below illustrates a 5-year history of two key metrics of operating results, sales and profit/loss trend.  SALES: Management considers the 2013 sales reduction to be due to exceptional circumstances, as recovery is already occurring in Q1 2014, compared with 2013.  Initiatives described in the Annual Report are intended to help the 2014 recovery keep its momentum. Speed of completed deliveries and sales activity generally in Q1 is improved over 2013.  PROFIT/LOSS: Operating losses have been reduced every year during the past 5 years.  As a result, the company’s break-even point has been reduced substantially.  This increases the feasibility of attaining profitable operation.

We thank the many shareholders who have expressed their appreciation of the CEO Weblog as a direct form of communication.  Your correspondence is always welcome and will be responded to.

 

Picture - 5 Year Trend

 

Mar 27

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New European Activity for 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”).

Picture - Ukraine Interbuild C Picture - Ukraine InterBuild E Picture - Ukraine InterBuild F

 

 

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Mar 19

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Share Count Update

Picture - Share Count Mar 19 2014

Mar 19

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Winning Brands in Tennessee

 

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.

 

Picture - 1000+ Stain Remover Counter Display

 

 

Mar 18

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TrackMoist welcomes Sweeny MX in Oklahoma

 

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.

 

Picture - TrackMoist Sweeney MX

 

 

 

Mar 18

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Shareholder Question

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.

2. 3(a)10

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.

Sincerely,

Eric Lehner, CEO

Winning Brands

 

Mar 14

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Catch TrackMoist in Action this weekend….

Catch our Special T Tracks Team deploying TrackMoist to condition the soil at these two great events this weekend near Phoenix, Arizona and Fresno, California:  (Pictures Below)

Picture - TrackMoist Tractor Pull Arizona March 15-16 2014

 

 

TrackMoist - March 14-15 2014 Fresno California

Mar 14

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Home Depot – 1000+ Stain Remover Inventory Viewable Online

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.

 

Picture - Home Depot Canada Inventory On-Line

 

 

Mar 10

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Invited Back

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.

 

Picture - New Lowes Event D

Picture - New Lowes Event A

Picture - New Lowes Event C

Picture - New Lowes Event B

 

 

Mar 04

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Texas Testimonial – TrackMoist

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…

Picture - TrackMoist testimonial

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Mar 02

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Meeting Dealers – Lancaster

 

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.

 

Picture - Lancaster Feb 22 2014 Kentucky

Picture - Lancaster Feb 22 2014 Kentucky 2

Picture - Lancaster Feb 22 2014 Kentucky 3

Picture - Lancaster Feb 22 2014 Kentucky Demonstration Table

Mar 01

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An honour for 1000+ Stain Remover from Home Hardware

 

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.

 

 

Picture - Home Hardware Own Display - Ontario Mar 1 2014

Feb 28

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Home Depot Quebec – Thank you!

 

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.

 

Picture - Home Depot Merchandising Quebec

Feb 26

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Website for TrackMoist: Live

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.

Picture - TrackMoist Website Page Extract

 

Feb 26

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Walmart: First time in Cleaning Aisle

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!

Picture - Walmart Cleaning Aisle Feb 2014

Feb 08

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TrackMoist Schedule this Weekend

Picture - TrackMoist Package 2014

This weekend you can see Winning Brands’ TrackMoist dirt surface conditioning in action in:

Anaheim California Feb 8/9 at the Honda Center for Ford Built Tough Professional Bull Riding Series 

and in Kansas City, Missouri Monster Jam at the Sprint Center 7-9th.

Picture - Track Moist Feb 7-9 2014 Kansas

 

Picture - TrackMoist Feb 7-9 Anaheim

 

Feb 03

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CEO Interview with Bert Martinez

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.

Live Link:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moneyforlunch/2014/02/03/bert-martinez-speaks-with-norm-blumenthal-eric-lehner-kim-duke-and-guests 

Picture - Bert Martinez

Feb 03

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Welcome Additional Shareholders!

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:

Facebook:  www.Facebook.com/1000PlusStainRemover

Product website: www.1000Plus.ca

Picture - Website Home Page

 

Picture - Facebook

 

Jan 31

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TrackMoist in Action this Weekend!

 

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

 

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Jan 26

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Thank you again, Lowe’s

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.

 

Picture - Lowe's Canada Promotional Initiative Jan 26 2014 A Picture - Lowe's Canada Promotional Initiative Jan 26 2014 B Picture - Lowe's Canada Promotional Initiative Jan 26 2014 C

Jan 23

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TrackMoist – Video of Randy Spraggins at Work

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.

 

Picture - TrackMoist Package 2014

 

Live Link to Video Showing Special-T Tracks Crew and the nature of the work:

http://www.ozarksfirst.com/story/the-dirt-guys-prep-jqh-arena-for-pbr/d/story/B_2klac3f0S4VaXcGRD1nA 

Picture - Randy Spraggins A 

 

 

Jan 14

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Upfront in Lowe’s

 

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.

 

Picture - Lowes Ramping Up with New Branding - Exterior

Picture - Lowes Ramping Up with New Branding - Interior

Picture - Lowes Ramping Up with New Branding - Paint Counter Display

Picture - Lowes Ramping Up with New Branding - Counter Close-up

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Jan 12

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Nice to see – Home Depot

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.

 

Picture - 1000+ at Home Depot Jan 2014 Picture 1000+ on Home Depot Shelf

Dec 29

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Shareholder Question: Re-orders

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.

 

Picture - Distributor Seasonal Reorder Profile

Dec 24

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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:

http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/winning-brands-expands-kind-laundry-detergent-range-with-gentlr-technology-sensitive-otc-pink-wnbd-1865063.htm

Gallon Format Launch December 2013

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Dec 12

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HomeDepot.com now includes 1000+ Stain Remover in Ship-to-Store Service

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.

 

Picture - Home Depot Ship to Store

Dec 09

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Do it Best Update – November 2013

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.

Picture - DIB Update Nov 2013

 

Dec 04

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Huge Changes at GSA for Cleaning Products

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.

 

Nov 26

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Current Information Tier Renewed

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.

 

Picture - Renewal of Current Information Tier November 26, 2013

Nov 21

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Shareholder Question: Store Decision

QUESTION

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? 

ANSWER

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.

Nov 15

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Love those testimonials!

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.

Picture - Testimonial Nov 13 2013

Nov 14

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Hospitality at Home Hardware – Increasing Invitations

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.

Picture - Ladies Night Home Hardware Nov 13 2013

 

Picture - HH Nov 13 2013 D

 

Picture - HH Nov 13 2013 B

 

Nov 14

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Update: Sharecount and Q Filing

Our accounting team is targeting upload-ready Q3 filing for Monday, November 18th. In the meantime, the official current sharecount confirmation appears below.

Picture - Sharecount November 14 2013

Oct 25

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Thank you, Royal Cleaners

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!

Picture - Royal Entrance

Picture - Royal Cleaners Montreal October 2013

Picture - Royal on Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

 Live Links to Videos and Website (Below)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO1dawW4v44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqdppNCvVH4

.http://www.nettoyeurecologiqueroyal.com/en/

 

 

Oct 20

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Shareholder Correspondence: Navy

QUESTION

…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…

ANSWER

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

Oct 13

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Pride of Placement

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.

Picture - New 1000+ Placed by Store Beside Tide to Go

 

 

Oct 06

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Canadian Tire – A Winning Manager

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.

 

 

Picture - Canadian Tire Store Logo supplied by Manager

Picture - Canadian Tire Store SupportPicture - Canadian Tire Store Manager Testimonial

Oct 02

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Wonderful Customer Experience

It never ceases to delight us when people go out of their way to say hello and share their success stories.  We noticed the item below on our Facebook page on Monday.  Much appreciated.

Picture - Testimonial from Facebook

Oct 02

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Update: Sharecount October 1, 2013

Picture - Sharecount October 1 2013

Sep 22

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Home Hardware – Terrific Testimonials

Picture - Home Hardware Fall Market 2013It was a pleasure to hear many unsolicited testimonials from Home Hardware store associates at Day 1 of the Home Hardware Fall Market today.  The positive feelings were matched by 70 stores placing orders at the booth.  Below is an assortment of photos.

 Picture - HH Fall Market  2013 Day 1 Busy Winning Brands Picture - HH Fall Market  2013 Day 1 Customer Testimonial about Skunk Smell Rescue Picture - HH Fall Market  2013 Day 1 Eric Picture - HH Fall Market  2013 Day 1 Prize Draw

Sep 21

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Home Hardware Fall Market

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.

Picture - Home Hardware Market Display Sep 2013 - Original Configuration Picture - Home Hardware Market Display Sep 2013 - Rolling Display

Sep 18

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Update – Current Information Tier

Picture - Current Renewal September 2013

Sep 15

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Update: Q2 Filing

The Q2 filing target of September 15th that was announced on August 23rd has been moved back by 48 hours due to the need to complete a special reconciliation of the official Share Transfer Register that is necessitated by the Reverse Split occuring in Q2.   This is more involved than the conventional reconciliation.  We are opting for accuracy and appreciate the extra 48 hrs.   Upon completion of this filing, Winning Brands will again hold the Current Information Tier at OTC Markets.

Sep 11

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Winning Brands New Business Address

A state-of-the-art new professional business centre for Winning Brands is more flexible to suit our operating needs.  With shared reception, conferencing facilities, adjacent shipping centre and other up-to-date amenities, the SuiteWorks business centre facility formalized our arrival today.  There is no change in telephone numbers or e-mail addresses.

The new head-office address is:

Winning Brands
92 Caplan Avenue, Suite 134
Barrie, Ontario
L4N 0Z7

This facility, combined with additional off-site administration arrangements, will result in a saving of approximately $90,000 over the next five years while significantly improving both the quality and flexibility of space use.  In other words, we are upgrading while reducing costs at the same time.

 

Picture - Winning Brands Business Centre Address

Picture - Reception at 92 Caplan Business Centre

 

Picture - Tracy Winning Brands New Premises Sep 2013

 

 

 

Aug 30

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More Clearing up of Back Orders!

We have been working hard to get product into the pipeline again.  Shown below is a delivery of our new 4-packs of 1000+ Stain Remover for Walmart, Laundry Miracle to Home Hardware Distribution Centre (the yellow trucks are used by Home Hardware for transportation of various goods to their member stores), and more outgoing Professional Wet Cleaning Solutions for Dry Cleaners. These deliveries were carried out in the last 48 hrs.

 

Picture - New Walmart Packs for 1000+ Aug 30 2013Picture - Laundry Miracle Home Hardware August 29 2013Picture - Home Hardware Distribution Centre August 29 2013Picture - Wet Cleaning Supplies August 28, 2013

Aug 23

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Quarterly Report Update

This is to confirm that the filing will be made by September 15th, following which the reporting status will revert to Current Information Tier.

Aug 14

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Quarterly Report

There will be a brief delay in filing the Q2 report.  We will provide update on the status of this filing next week.

Aug 14

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Computer Server Issues

We thank shareholders whose e-mails to us, or telephone calls, may require up to 48hrs reply.  We have detected a virus/worm in the main server and we are letting the IT team quarantine and remove what they need to from the main server and as well as work stations.  Since our telephone system is VOIP, we are experiencing sporadic interuption during this servicing.  We anticipate this will require 48 hrs.

Aug 08

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Update: Share Count – No Change

Aug 08

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Deliveries Returning to Normal

It is a joy to see production returning to normal so that we can meet demand again.  The new P.O. financing process is working perfectly.  It is the first time ever that we can manufacture our product(s) to fill orders without constraint as to maximum dollar value.  The decline in deliveries (i.e. reported sales) in the first 2 quarters of 2013 is primarily due to the production backlog during those two quarters.  Accordingly, Winning Brands now has more production booked and actually taking place in Q3, than the 1st two quarters combined. 

Commercial batch size shipments of 1000+ Stain Remover are being processed again with the accumulated backorders finally being reduced.  It’s a great feeling.  It’s also a joy to hear a great deal of positive response from consumers who share their stories about 1000+ for so many things.  A few minutes ago it was a woman who used 1000+ to remove the sticky adhesive from a floor tile installation job.  Prior to that it was a consumer on the west coast who uses it for Laundry.  Before that we heard from two sisters who are caring for an elderly father and have found many uses as they help him care for his household.  Such product friendships are fun to experience.  I have no doubt that there are literally millions of people who will feel the same about 1000+ Stain Remover (and our ancillary products) one day.  

Aug 06

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Thank you, NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command)

Confirmation received in writing that our formal product line review is booked to take place in Virgina first week of September.  This will be the first time that our team has been able to meet our NEX counterparts in person.  Early steps with NEX had been delayed several times for NEX internal reasons (unrelated to our product).  This in-person meeting will let us better examine how to combine what Winning Brands has and what NEXCOM system requirements might be.  It’s a good step forward, procedurally.

Live link to NEXCOM: https://www.mynavyexchange.com/ 

Jul 30

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Share Count Update

Jul 28

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Shareholder Question: Focus on 1000+

QUESTION:

Eric, As a longtime shareholder I sometimes wonder why your so adamant about promoting our 1000+ when you have so many other products that we could sell and maybe start climbing out of the less than stellar sales numbers?

ANSWER

The focus has been on 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution, because the product has unique positive characteristics that set it apart.  It has a number of the qualities that are appropriate for a national brand, despite its spirited independent origin.  Becoming a national consumer product brand has been a spectacular financial success for other companies who have carried out such a plan to a good outcome.  In my opinion, we can do it too.

Winning Brands’ plans for 1000+ is that it become a household name and favourite in its category.  The growth of the brand has been hampered in the past year by practical issues, such as the challenge of keeping adequate inventory on-hand and carrying out supportive marketing during the working capital gap that arose from the company’s withdrawal from Regulation D, Rule 504 funding.  The decline in sales during 2013 is due to this factor, as previously and publicly reported, and is temporary for this reason.

With the commencement now of our institutional purchase order financing regime,(the earlier version was a trial), we are able to start catching up again in Q3.  We currently have $115,000 in backorders requiring production and shipping.  This is starting to be cleared-up now.  In fact, the  first new delivery to start the process of eliminating current backorders was made to our Buffalo warehouse on Friday July 26th.

When a replacement to the 504 funding is in place, aided by the planned SEC registration and elevation of the company to OTCQB, many exiting intiatives that have been held back due to working capital contraints can begin operating again. 

You will also be seeing more activity in connection with some of our additional brands when the refinancing is in place and 1000+ initiatives are back on track.  The impact of momentum is as important in business as it is in science – it’s difficult to get, but great to have.  If momentum declines, forward movement suffers.  However, momentum can be regained again..

The picture below shows a 53ft tractor trailer at our Buffalo warehouse.  Our current backorders are equivalent to two of these vehicles.

 

Jul 23

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Shareholder Question: Big Box Retailer

QUESTION

“Eric, any progress on the talks with that big box retailer that were to have taken place in med July”

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.   Winning Brands can make no prediction of what may arise for 1000+ Stain Remover from this process.  We have found that the best intentions by a buyer within the largest organizations may be subject to interference from external factors.  In the meantime, we work hard to establish ourselves with a foundation of independent stores (who account for the vast majority of locations in the home improvement sector).  If a big box banner decides that it can move beyond evaluation into a national listing, so much the better. It was good to see that we are still in the running.   Regardless, we have a great deal of opportunity within the home improvement sector and other fields.  The fact that so few consumers have heard of us is the reason that Winning Brands has so much upside.  Our product has not been rejected by consumers – it just has not hit the radar screen.  I would be surprised if more than one person in 10,000 has heard of us in the United States.  We may have been at this for a few years, but to consumers who have not heard of us, we are as new and fresh as anything else that shows up in their lives for the very first time.  It’s really just about creating awareness – fostering first use – and being conveniently available for resale when the consumer is ready for more.

 

Jul 23

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Thank you, Orgill. eDropShip Activation!

It’s great to have all of the internal workings in place at last for the eDropShip program activation.  

The significance of this development is that thousands of independent hardware stores for whom it would have been too complicated to order products from us have just had all the hassle stripped away.  No more faxing handwritten orders, no more back and forth on credit approval, no more fax busy signals or paper tiger.  Now, any one of 6,000 Orgill store accounts can simply go to their online portal, find our product in the search bar (without knowing the SKU number) and specify the quantity they want – even a single case.  The system generates an Orgill credit approval before the order reaches us.  This means that we are guaranteed that Orgill will pay for all goods shipped in this manner from one central processing centre.

Now we can reach out to the Orgill sales force in earnest, because they no longer have the major nuisance of a manual system holding them back.

Is all of this going to show its benefits overnight?  No.  Is it obviously a good thing for Winning Brands to have gained store direct order receiving capability for thousands of hardware stores coast-to-coast?  Of course.

Next step – acquainting those Orgill accounts with 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution.  For 6,000 stores, the procedural road block to trying our product was just removed.

 

Jul 14

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Audit Progress

At the time that we were starting the audit for the purpose of preparing the SEC registration process, we were notified that a Canada Revenue Agency audit would also take place.  The decision was made to let one proceed after the other, rather than operate two simultaneously, and that the government audit should be first.  This trust examination has been completed and lays the foundation for the other audit.  For this specific reason, the original time frame cannot be met.  However, we are pleased with the outcome of the first audit and will not be hampered in our work for the second.

A further update will be provided in due course.

Jul 10

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Shareholder Question: Present Status (Clarification)

QUESTION

It appears the reverse split didn’t do much good at this point. I don’t believe  this. How does someone as intelligent as yourself and with apparent business acumen continue to be unsuccessful wilth such a great product. I hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t visible at the momment. Maybe in the near future you might consider going to a direct marketing plan. There are so many successful companies out there that have followed such a plan and have become enormous successful as a result. Maybe it’s time to reconsider because things haven’t looked too bright lately. Thanks again

ANSWER

Our cessation of financing under Regulation D, Rule 504 in early 2012 had a significant impact on our operations.  We stopped 504 funding because shareholders had expressed discomfort with it and regulators had started to look unfavourably upon its growth generally in the OTC environment over the past several years.  We “bit the bullet” and took ourselves off that important source of capital. Thereafter, we limited our share issuance to debt retirement. 

As a (forseen) consequence of seeking less 504 equity capital, marketing and operating constraints were adopted.    These constraints impacted initiatives that we had underway at the time.  It slowed down our ability to respond to opportunities and reduced the supply of ready-made inventory available at any specific time. 

On a parallel track this year, we began a determined effort to obtain SEC registration – a process that everyone knows takes time and is expensive.  The long term benefit of that effort and expense is that the company will regain the ability to issue equity on more favourable terms than the former 504 equity issuances.  The regulators and clearing authorities have a favourable view of registered offerings by contrast to “exempt” offerings of non-reporting issuers.  All this can be summarized as present pain for long term gain.  The Reverse Split was part and parcel of this long term process.

Our current market cap is exceptionally low and therefore stands a good chance to have a substantial rebound when momentum returns.  In fact, this is what some people on the sidelines have actually been hoping for – the combination of a low O/S and a very low share price.  That is the classic basis of a substantial capital gain opportunity if/when momentum is regained. 

We were approved yesterday for a much more affordable form of insitutional purchase order financing that we had been seeking for some time as a means to clear up our rolling back orders.  So, for example,as of today more than $100,000 worth of product orders are awaiting delivery to eager customers.  We will be able to deploy this new form of PO financing over the coming few weeks to begin to regain our momentum at least in meeting pent- up customer demand.  (For clarity, pent-up demand means orders that were placed but not delivered, causing a reduction in reported sales). As we advance toward qualifying for new equity financing options, we will deploy co-op marketing intiatives with our retailers under our official Modified Strategic Plan.  Our operational base has become extremely efficient.  We have a break-even point that is lower than ever.  This places us in a good position to gain profitability when volumes pick-up.

It’s been extremely difficult getting through the discipline of a severe capital diet, however we took the initiative ourselves and are combining it with an elevation to a higher level of more reasonable sources that will emerge in due course.  If/when sales growth accelerates, we are well positioned to be authentically profitable.

As to “Direct Marketing” – very smart people have strong opinions on both sides of the issue.  Winning Brands is open minded to improvements, however, there are drawbacks as well as positives in this specific suggestion. If you would like to discuss this in greater length, feel free to contact me.   In the meantime, our top  retailers continue to work with us and express enthusiam over our future.  We have a number of very good relationships to build on.

Shareholders who wish to participate in direct investment are welcome to contact the company so that legal counsel can review what options are permissible under current regulations in your circumstances.

Jun 18

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Shareholder Question: Market Cap

QUESTION

Mr. Lehner Care to comment on our current market cap from where you sit.   Are we going to see some real results/worthy news  that will have a positive impact on our market cap?  Thank you

ANSWER

in my personal opinion the current market capitalization of approximately $150,000 is extraordinarily low. 

When the firm overcomes its financing challenge, various initiatives will be operational again and momentum will be regained.   I cannot promise how soon substantive news will be forthcoming.  I can promise that the company is working hard to achieve its goals and is enthusiastic about its future. 

The decision to stop Regulation D, Rule 504 funding “cold turkey” more than a year ago, combined with my reluctance to consolidate the shares much earlier, interfered with operational initiatives (due to capital constraints) and is having a negative impact.  However, this will pass and the firm will enter a more obvious ascendancy again, in my opinion.  The firm is efficient operationally and could be very profitable when key tipping points are achieved.  Winning Brands is clearly more dedicated, serious, determined and authentic than many in the OTC space.  I have high personal confidence that the company will become a model of success.

In connection with all of the above, our registration with the SEC and up-listing to the OTCQB will help enormously.

The investor page at www.WinningBrands.com sets out the situation in plain language, creating a classic speculative opportunity for those with high risk tolerance. 

 

Jun 10

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E-Mail

Some e-mail traffic has been affected by the fact that our international spam filter service is no longer providing service in Canada.  No advance notice was given by the provider of their withdrawal from the market. We are switching service providers presently. There has been incnnsistent e-mail traffic during this transition.  If you have sent e-mail to the company today and were affected by this switchover, please re-send in 24 hrs.  We regret any inconvenience caused to correspondents.

Thank you.

Jun 06

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Hello from New Zealand

The note below in quotation marks was recently received from our distributor in Australia & New Zealand.  It’s important to be conservative in estimating the possible impact of such foreign markets upon on Winning Brands.  We are not newcomers in Australia and New Zealand and the product has not yet “taken-off”.  Clearly, there are marketing concepts that we need to adjust in order to make the most of our potential. That’s the reality check.  

But it’s also worth noting that 1000+ Stain Remover is on the shelves of a respected retailer even half way around the world, and these stores are discovering that 1000+ has stubbornly loyal consumers amongst the people who discover 1000+ and its usefulness.   This much is an undeniable fact and intriguing - whether we are talking about consumers in North America, Australia/New Zealand, the Philippines, England and a few other international markets where 1000+ has poppped up even in small numbers, a good proportion of people who actually use the 1000+ Stain Remover get to like it a lot.  It doesn’t matter where they live.   The element of our business goal that we are still trying to get right is the creation of sufficient awareness amongst consumers who have not yet heard of 1000+ Stain Remover.  That untapped community of people who have no knowledge of 1000+ Stain Remover is huge.  The fact that so few consumers have tried our product(s) yet is a “positive”, not a “negative” when considering our potential -  that gap is the reason why our potential remains so high.    We have an exceedingly small number of consumer complaints.  Our lift-off merely requires a much larger number of people to take that first step – it’s really just as basic as that.  Access to improved funding can make that happen – the rest has already proven to be in place; manufacturing, logistics, and professional business operations.

BTW – The net result of the review with our retailer New Zealand was to confirm that they are nearly out of stock and want more urgently.  That’s always a good sign.  A few thousand units at a time are seeds planted for our future.  

The picture below is a typical Progressive Countdown store in Auckland, New Zealand.  The shelf-photo was taken with a cell phone camera in an Auckland store.

 

…Please find attached two photos of your product on the shelves of (Progressive) Countdown stores in Auckland, New Zealand. As you can see the display box is being used in the stores I have visited, will discuss inner pack counts with the buyer tomorrow and report back….

 

Jun 05

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Thank you Emery Waterhouse

With this week’s new order for hundreds of 4L (135 f. oz.) units, our new distributor Emery Waterhouse is taking the lead in featuring the larger size 1000+ bottle to hardware stores.  Thank you to the Emery sales team for strong early performance.

Jun 05

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Sharecount Update

Jun 05

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Do it Best Update

914 Do it Best locations have placed initial orders for 1000+ Stain Remover as at May 31, 2013.  When our marketing resources are enhanced later in 2013, this will be one of the accounts receiving increased support.  The Modified Strategic Plan, which places special emphasis on improving turnover in exsiting accounts, is described in the 2012 Annual Report.  We are glad to see that new Do it Best stores continue to discover 1000+ Stain Remover.

 

May 28

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Share Count Update

Click Picture to Enlarge for Clarity

May 28

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SEC Registration Steps – Audit Commences

Confirmation received today that the audit which serves as the foundation of SEC registration and S-1 filing begins next week.  It will be carried out by auditors registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and is expected to take approximately 2 months.

May 28

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Current Information Tier Renewed

May 21

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For your convenience: Conference Recording

Practical discussion of the company’s business with shareholders on Monday May 20, 2013.  You can review the discussion here.   It’s a detail-oriented conference call of interest to shareholders who like to understand specific operating procedures more deeply.

The conference code is 602802 

http://www.freeconferencecalling.com/access-recordings.html

 

May 20

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Remember – Send in those questions for today….

This afternoon I will be providing answers to shareholder questions in a telephone call that any interested shareholder can dial in to and listen for themselves.  The questions are those which we have been inviting people to send in by e-mail.  It’s vital that we have as many questions as possible.  My goal is to address them frankly and briefly to get through as many questions as possible.  Please do send YOUR questions in to eric@WinningBrands.ca before 4pm to have your question included.  No subject is off limits, although only questions with language “fit for prime time” can be read.  In terms of content please make them real to your interests.  In other words, this is about answering real questions, not a public relations lecture.   It would be good to hear and share your specific queries.  It can be interesting not only for the firm to hear from you, but other shareholders as well.   THE MORE QUESTIONS THE BETTER.

To hear responses to your questions, please join me

Monday May 20, 2013 4PM Eastern  Dial-in: 1-267-507-0240 

Conference code: 602802

May 17

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Additional Shareholders, Thank you and Welcome…

As we are joined by additional shareholders, we thank you for your interest.  Many current shareholders have found that their relationship to the company is based on first-hand experience and appreciation of our lead product, 1000+ Stain Remover, World’s Most Versatile Cleaning Solution.   In the USA, we encourage you to obtain some for your own use online at www.HomeDepot.com or from a participating Do it Best Hardware store near you. If you are in Canada, 1000+ Stain Remover is now available (in the Paint Department) at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Canadian Tire and Home Hardware.   If for some reason it is not convenient for you to obtain a sample in these places, please let us know so that we can dispatch one to you.  Please send an e-mail to CustomerService@WinningBrands.ca   with your name, delivery address and telephone number (for the courier waybill).   1000+ Stain Remover can make a contribution to convenient clean-up and stain rescue in every home and workplace.  Our goal is for 1000+ Stain Remover to become a household name coast to coast in North America and the favourite brand in its category.  Just one bottle – a thousand solutions!

If you are not yet a shareholder, please do visit our Investor Page at www.WinningBrands.com for a frank discussion of the challenges associated with this great objective.  This is particularly important in the context of the Investor Awareness initiatives that Winning Brands will be undertaking to increase exposure of Winning Brands within the investor community now and in the future.  The website investor page FAQ and live greeting are an important part of understanding the company, as are the company’s filings at www.OTCMarkets.com   Winning Brands is proud of its bold mission and also proud that it has made it clear from these filings how difficult the mission is.  Additional resources are www.1000Plus.ca and www.Facebook.com/1000PlusStainRemover
 

May 14

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Q1 Filing

OTC Markets has a policy of permitting 5-day extensions on a quarterly filing.  Our audit begins in June, with substantial preparations required for the auditor in terms of due diligence materials.  A few extra days is helpful to a small organization, in view of the heavy undertaking before us.  We are targeting May 20th.  A reminder – the majority of OTC quoted entities do not provide the regular filings that we do.

May 13

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Sales Department Restructuring

Further to the adoption of the Modified Strategic Plan referred to in the recently filed 2012 Annual Report, a few changes are happening in the Sales Department. 

In Canada, we are going to put more emphasis on increasing sales turnover in existing national accounts, rather than cultivating new accounts for the time being.  This is because the existing national accounts include stores that already are within a convenient drive to most people, including Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Home Hardware and Canadian Tire.  The emphasis will be in providing these (and some other existing accounts) more coordinated sales and marketing support.  The separate position of Canadian Sales Manager will therefore be retired.  Sales and Marketing Support of the existing national accounts will be performed by a reorganization of existing personnel.  This greater emphasis on improved performance from existing stores  in Canada is vital because we are already in a number of the country’s largest retailers.  Their widespread distribution in the country, their high recognition factor, their exceptional reputation and consumer reach is sufficient to generate much more activity.  We will be redoubling our efforts to determine how.  It will no doubt require increasing consumer awareness.  Therefore we will also have a marketing relationship associated with a decorating and design TV program called Steven and Chris on a test basis starting this summer.   This would be the first time that our lead product has had a nationally distributed marketing message.

In the USA, we similarly want to increase the sell-through in existing accounts in order to earn the reputation for the brand of moving well.  When this increase occurs, then we can resume our prospecting on the consumer retailer side with a stronger case to make.  Accordingly, the Sales Support/Marketing Support model (with emphasis on support) will be applied.

Additionally in the USA, as mentioned in earlier posts, we are going to approach the commercial/industrial side with more vigor.  This is not the “next big idea” to replace other efforts – it is a way of developing reach into the less visible commercial side with a more detailed and coordinated approach than before, with better utilization of manufacturer’s sales representatives that are already in the field calling on suitable customers.  A team will be formed and coordinated by U.S. based management of this task.  It may be possible to add new institutional customers without the long waiting periods associated with  retail banner buyers acting. 

 

May 07

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Conference Call Date

Shareholders are invited to note the following date and particulars in their calendar for a conference call:

Monday May 20, 2013 4PM Eastern Dial-in: 1-267-507-0240  Conference code: 602802

May 05

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Shareholder Question: Up-listing

QUESTION

Over the last few days, several shareholders have asked by what means they will know what progress we are making toward up-listing to OTCQB.

ANSWER

Uplisting requires registration with the SEC.  An attorney has already been engaged to be our counsel for that purpose.  Due diligence materials for this process are being assembled.  Also required is an audit by PCAOB registered accountants for year ending 2010 to establish an opening balance sheet, and then for the two operating years 2011 and 2012, as well as for a stub period (i.e. the interim period from December 31, 2012 to the registration filing date).

Now that the attorney has been identified, we have been speaking with/interviewing candidates for the auditing role.  It is important that the right fit exists because it is not desirable to change auditors casually.  Accordingly, when making such an important choice, it is ideal to establish a professional rapport that works well for all parties concerned, including the attorney.  Cooperation between the auditors and the attorney for the purpose of the registration is ideal.  Also, to what extent are the auditors able to assist with post registration compliance quarterly reviews (timing, work load, internal capacity, cost, etc)?  That is the reason that our most recent Attorney Opinion Letter has been prepared by legal counsel who is most familiar with the company and who will be most closely associated with the registration.

If things go as planned, then our audit for the years mentioned will take place in the June/July/August period.

We will announce the appointment of the auditors by way of News Release in due course to provide a key milestone in this process.

 

 

May 02

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Attorney Opinion Letter

We will need another few days to obtain and upload the Attorney Opinion Letter for Winning Brands Annual Report.  These letters, if taken seriously, are not a rubber stamp, and require a meeting/interview between the attorney and company management.   It is likely that the Limited Information symbol will be in place for the next few days only until the Attorney Opinion Letter is provided and uploaded,

May 01

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Shareholder Question: Share Count

QUESTION

Hello Eric, Please update OS & AS correspondence with us! Shares are continuously being sold, and I am not sure if folks are selling theirs or new shares are being issued.Please englighten since this R/S aftermath. We need to know if new shares are being issued…

ANSWER

Attached is the report of shares outstanding.  The authorized share count is being reduced by 90% to 500 Million as reported in the News Release dated April 24, 2013.

Shareholders should expect issuance of shares under the new lower ceiling as the firm settles obligations, proceeds with registration and implements the Modified Strategic Plan referred to in the 2012 Annual Report to increase sales later in the year through new methods and initiatives.  Operating deficits have been declining substantially each year, as illustrated below.  This means that more of the funds raised in future can be used to reduce liabilities.  If sales increase in the second half of 2013, the positive trend of deficit reduction will be accelerated. 

As of  the time of this response, 220,458 shares have been purchased/sold since April 26, 2013, representing approximately 2% of the company’s outstanding shares.

 

 

May 01

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www.TheStockRadio.com

Thank you Karl Marek of The Stock Radio for spending some time in conversation with Winning Brands today.  We understand that the interview will be posted at http://thestockradio.com/eirc-lehner-ceo-of-winning-brands-corp-wnbdd/2637 within the next couple of days.

Apr 26

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Thank you Home Depot

We are honoured that Home Depot has just approved the introduction of a 1000+ Stain Remover brochure that has been modified to reflect the Home Depot store environment, for their use specifically.  This new item will be printed and distributed in Canada starting in May. 

As per the recently filed Annual Report, a Modified Strategic Plan is being adopted that shifts focus to increasing consumer sales through existing retailers, bringing industrial accounts on board for the first time in a systematic manner and boosting the role of line extensions, amongst other things.

Improved integration of 1000+ Stain Remover’s signature brochure with a respected retailer’s internal merchandising programs is an example of enhanced work with existing accounts going forward.

Apr 24

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Reverse Split

A News Release has been issued which provides details of the consolidation of Winning Brands shares on a 1:500 basis.   The release invites shareholders to e-mail their questions or comments.   I will read and respond directly to all shareholder correspondence on this important topic.  

Special note to long-term shareholders (“Longs”):  There is no formal definition of a “Long” .  The duration of holdings is part of the definition; the dollar amount invested is also part of the definition.  Opinions vary as to what combination of these factors defines a “Long”

Therefore, If you are a ”Long”, by your own definition, please let me know so that the company can make an assessment of how many current shareholders are “Longs”  as well as the originally invested dollar amount represented.

Thank you.

P.S.  E-mail and VOIP has been sporadic since last Thursday when our Server was affected by technical problems.  This has been under repair and should be rectified within 48 hours.  If your e-mail does not go through successfully, please try again.  Each one will be acknowledged.

Apr 19

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Pink Current Status and Statistics

 

The Current Information Tier has been returned to Winning Brands.  Here is an interesting statistic: as at December 31, 2012 only 2,499 companies amongst the three principal Pink Sheets tiers provided Current Information Disclosure, whereas the majority, 3,674, did not, of whom 3,065 provided “No Information” and 609 provided Limited Information during the year. 

There are two additional lower tiers that represent even less disclosure, and questionable behaviour, Grey Market and Caveat Emptor, whose numbers are not included, but are traded nonetheless.

Our Current Information Tier rating is therefore an accomplishment and keeps us in the minority of firms in our category that meet this standard.

 

Apr 08

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Shareholder Question: Reverse Split

QUESTION

At this point, is there anything that would prevent a reverse split? Thanks

ANSWER

We will be holding a telephone conference call for shareholders to provide more information about this topic and to answer any other live questions and take live comments.  The date of the CC has not been finalized.  I will report back on the date asap. 

It would be particularly helpful during the conference call to speak to persons who have the greatest concerns, including the greatest criticism, in order to set the record straight in direct conversational format, by presenting facts which are not brought forward on a discussion board, or deleted quickly by adversarial parties.

Many supportive shareholders have given up commenting on the board because of the domination of a few non-shareholders who have their private agendas.  It would be a pleasure to meet them head-on in unscripted conversation for the benefit of shareholders, and do some major myth-busting while we are at it.  It’s easy for a few to hide behind anonymous posts – they won’t get away with much if they have the courage to identify themselves and be held accountable for mis-statements, illogical argument, false assumptions,  things taken out of context, etc.  Shareholders would find such an exchange highly beneficial.

Apr 04

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Shareholder Question: Reverse Split

QUESTION

Eric,  Please tell me that you are not contemplating or planning a reverse split.  This would be the worst thing you could do at this point.  IMO.  You are growing the company, please don’t waste the co.s potential with a r/s.

ANSWER

Short Answer: 

You should count on an eventual reverse split.  The company has always taken the position that a R/S in connection with an uplisting has justification and purpose. It will ensure that the company can grow through access to financing that is less expensive and more predictable.  We are serious about attaining registration and uplisting.  These things usually go together, as previously (and publicly) stated.

More detail if you are interested:

It is not responsible for the company to think aloud, i.e. publicly, about the operating specifics of various re-financing scenarios because they are subject to factors beyond our control, including the stance of legal counsel, auditors and regulators, all of whom have to approve.  A feature of our thinking is how to recognize the special category of investor who has been with the firm for a long time, or has accumulated a high dollar investment cost.  This is difficult because it is so unusual; there are not as many precedents to draw upon – and this must also be within regulations.  Like many difficult things, it’s worth the effort to try.

To say that an R/S is the “worst thing” is mistaken.  The “worst thing” would be for the company to be unable to carry on or meet its obligations with sufficient professionalism so as to justify its relationship with top retailers.  A company’s ability to continually reinvest in practical things that support such retailer listings is a requirement of doing business with them.  We have several excellent relationships that must be maintained to a high standard of reliability – supplier to customer.

To date, Winning Brands has endured the inefficiency of raising capital under exempt offerings in the Pink Sheets environment.  The options are limited and they are expensive, but it is a place to start.  Historically, most ventures that started in the non-reporting issuer space of Pink Sheets did not make it to the next level up.  They were either unable or unwilling.  It’s difficult. 

However, when the business becomes a fully reporting issuer quoted on the OTCQB (as a next logical step) – doors open to friendlier financing.  There is no dispute about that within the investment community.  Fully reporting status removes barriers to positive options

Amongst our peers, Winning Brands is known to be serious in purpose, determined in its mission and far better than most in shareholder communications.  Moving up to the next level is what our shareholders need in order for new momentum to be realized.  Accomplishing this will be beneficial for the company in many ways, which in turn can be reflected in market cap.  The impact of a R/S can only be assessed some time after the fact by examining the long term impact on market cap.  The “typical” R/S in the Pink Sheet space is not the only available model. 

Beyond the “hype” on the subject of R/S’s they do not have to be disastrous.  Much depends on the motive, the context, the specifics, the subsequent events.  Cynical R/S’s are a lazy way to increase the share price.  A company embarking on the path of registration is not lazy.

.   

 

 

 

Apr 03

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Shareholder Question: Share Buying

QUESTION

Over the past few weeks I have observed that hundreds of millions of shares are being purchased in large (30 mil at a time) chunks at almost zero value.  What is this all about?

ANSWER

Short Answer:
I do not know who is buying the large blocks of shares. 

Additional information if you are interested:
It may be market makers for their own purposes, or it may be people through their trading accounts.  The company is not in discussion with any person officially or unofficially to foster purchasing of shares.  The company also has no stock promotion campaign underway.  The company is in the highest risk category of investment – a WNBD share purchase decision would need to be their’s alone, as it is highly speculative.  This is also emphasized in an audio visual greeting on the investor page of our website.  It comes on automatically.  It cannot be missed. The plain spoken, sincere, cautionary note is exceptional in our peer group for its responsibility and conservative tone.

Of further help in avoiding promotional excess, there are some very hardworking skeptics on the discussion boards doing their best to disuade anyone from purchasing our shares as well as encouraging anyone who still has shares to sell while they can.  They follow the company day and night, paying a great deal of attention to it.   Accordingly, there is no possibility that anyone in the discussion board environment is uninformed about the risks.  We thank these skeptics, truly, because they serve the company’s interests through their 24 hour attention to the company.  By fostering skeptical discussion on their own time (the most active of whom not even being shareholders), they ensure that all WNBD share purchases made by readers of those boards are made on a fully forewarned basis.  This helps to ensure that our shareholders are truly the best profile:  self-assured in their buying decision without any illusions as to the challenges, fully aware of the company’s shortcomings (as skeptics would see it) and familiar with our products, policies and objectives with as much prior disuasion as possible.  There has been no promotional excess to stimulate the buying – it is organic to the market and occurs despite the efforts above.

Also, the trading volume of WNBD considerably exceeds the volume of share issuance.  There are people who feel that our operational accomplishments represent a foundation for future positive developments, and that our current market cap of approximately $500K – $1Million is low compared to what may happen “one day” if key tipping points occur.  Even taking a reverse split or other resturcturing into account, their view is that a trading upside exists at current levels.

My own opinions are expressed in this weblog, which is an uncommon service for our shareholders.  It provides frequent operational highlights regarding our aspirations and our setbacks,  and answers to shareholder questions.  My overall opinion is that we face the same challenges that thousands of other aspiring junior companies face, most of whom fail – but that we have more spirit than most, more determination to get through the obstacles and a greater willingness to share the good, bad and ugly of the process with our stakeholders.   Our filings over the years have been professional, easy to understand, fully disclosing all that is challenging and also sharing our vision.  Even when a filing is delayed, it is ultimately made to the Pink Sheet Current standard.  Thousands of OTC quoted companies never provide information of the quality that we do.

Bottom line, I very much appreciate the large block purchases to which you refer.  I cannot promise those buyers any specific outcome for their shareprice or for the company’s future, of course.  What I can promise is that we remain devoted to our goal – and such comittment is well understood to be an important factor in success in life, whether for individuals or for companies.

Apr 01

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Welcome, Busy Beaver

We welcome a chain of 15 home improvement stores called Busy Beaver in the Northeast, who have placed their first order  for 1000+ Stain Remover.  Thank you Emery Waterhouse for your role in this new relationship, which we learned of today.  Website: http://www.busybeaver.com/locations/ 

 

Apr 01

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Filing Delay

There will be a 15-day delay in our uploading the 2012 annual filing which is due April1st.  This will result in a temporary change in status from Current Information Tier to No Information Tier (because the previous filing was for a period that was more than 6 months ago).   This does not affect the ability of shares to trade in accounts where they are permitted to do so.  The 2012 annual will be uploaded and the Current Information Tier will be returned. 

Also, we have met with prospective auditors in connection with our desire that Winning Brands shareholders have the benefit of the business becoming  registered and uplisted.  Consultations are underway as to the best way to expedite this. 

We are committed to finding means to reconcile a variety of stakeholder interests in a manner that addresses challenges and opportunities both.  

We are also aware that registration and up-listing is not by itself sufficient to provide shareholders with new opportunities.  That is an administrative accomplishment, and important, but does not address the business issues.  The business itself also requires new momentum.  Earlier initiatives have not yielded sufficient results over the years, despite some accomplishments..  Life after our up-listing will not merely be a continuation of our previous routines – the search for the right mix of operational factors and people is underway.  

 

Mar 28

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Label Evolution: 1000+ Bolder Name Treatment

 

The photo below was taken today in a store where the new style prototype labels were placed for evaluation by staff and customers.   This logo treatment has been under development to give more emphasis to long distance visibility of the name and simplification of the front panel.  This is the first time that we have the most up-to-date label version in a retail setting for evaluation. As previously discussed, neck tags will be used to highlight specific sectors and promotional programs.  We will have these in place on store shelves before our return to TV commercials in Canada (where 1000+ Stain Remover is available nationally at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Home Hardware and Canadian Tire stores), to support the brand at retail.

Discussion of re-financing is subject to confidentiality issues, however I can say that we continue to work toward arrangements that will be sensible, and if possible associated with an up-listing to OTCQB.   There are various things that need to be in place for the desired arrangements to be activated.

 

 

Mar 23

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Shareholder Question: Trading Volume

QUESTION

Hi Eric, any reason for the volume of over 300 million? The message board kind of implied that the volume was a sale by you. If this is the case would you care to comment? Thanks

ANSWER

I do not know who the buyers or sellers were on Friday.  Winning Brands does not sell to the market, and therefore is not one of the sellers.  Over the past 90 days, the number of shares traded is 1,267,613,096. This is approximately 3 times greater than the maximum total dilution that would have been possible, even if all authorized shares had been issued at the beginning of this period, which they were not. 

Trading volume in WNBD has always greatly exceeded the number of shares entering the market through third party debt settlement or Regulation D, Rule 504 investment retirement.  

Many people in the penny stock environment have eventually come to know Winning Brands.  It’s clear to most that we are a hardworking, legitimate business that is striving for a stated goal.  Some people think that it is impossible that we will accomplish it, either because of my shortcomings, real or imagined, or for other business reasons. Other people feel that our commitent and spirit is a characteristic of success stories, and we will ultimately prevail.

I have no doubt that two high energy activities are occurring simultaneously at the moment:  high energy liquidation by those who want to get out while they still feel they can and high energy purchasing by those who feel that our path forward includes unforeseen positive outcomes that make us a good speculation. 

We have always been clear in stating that we are in the highest risk category of investment but that we are working with a great attitude to achieve a tremendous goal.  That’s not a mixed message – it’s the way the world really works – the most spirited people and companies strive toward challenging and meaningful objectives. By virtue of these challenges, many fail, but not all. The speculative investment marketplace exists for situations of exactly this type.  If we fail, there will be skeptics happy to say “I told you so”, and if we succeed, there will be good people proud of the accomplishment.   In the meantime, the devotion of our skeptics to tirelessly alert all parties to the risks and perceived shortcomings of this venture has ensured that no person can possibly  be unaware of the risks.

For the record, by way of guidance, it should be anticipated that the full extent of the Authorized Share Limit will be required to address orderly debt retirement, by the end of Q1 reporting period..

Mar 21

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Shareholder Question – General

QUESTION

Hello Mr. Lehner.  Any sort of update would be nice.  Thx
 

ANSWER

We are working hard on the attainment of registration and up listing to OTCQB because of the well-known benefits that this brings.  This is our top priority because all other operational elements will receive a lift from this accomplishment.   Product marketing arrangements can receive a substantial boost from the friendlier financing in this environment.   We have a terrific foundation to build on – excellent product(s), retailer relationships, operating team and vision.  We are proud of who we are, what we are doing and where we are headed.  Synergistic alliances will grow in importance in the future and will strengthen this foundation. 

We are really looking forward to what is ahead for us – despite the substantial present challenges.  These difficulties are thoroughly disclosed in our filings in great detail.  Nonetheless, dedication to overcoming challenges is the hallmark of eventual success.  We have such dedication.

Mar 21

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GSA Additional Order: The virtue of perseverance

 

We had the pleasure of receiving another (small) order from the U.S. Coast Guard through the GSA yesterday.  This is a follow-through order from a GSA entity with whom we have done business before, thus a pattern is starting to emerge.  Slowly but surely, one thing is leading to another and this new relationship is advancing.

By co-incidence yesterday, we had a formal introductory briefing with GSA personnel by conference call that set out a 112 page PowerPoint summary of rules, procedures and opportunities associated with GSA business.   A GSA analyst has been assigned to us as a resource moving forward.  His responsibility is to both ensure that we comply with contract elements and also that we can flourish if possible in this setting. 

Remember, from the GSA perspective, long term relationships are the goal.  The initial contract has a 5-year duration with additional 5-year renewal periods.  Their mindset is toward cooperation over the next decade and beyond.

 The GSA knows from its operational experience that new GSA relationships are difficult to activate – but that such relationships are highly beneficial if fully activated.  Our GSA representative emphasized, unprompted, that we had the right attitude to succeed with the GSA.  He said this based on his experience dealing with new contract holders.

 

 

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Mar 10

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New use for 1000+ Stain Remover; Clean-up After Fiberglass Repair

New uses keep emerging for 1000+ Stain Remover.  The testimonial below was received this week.

 

For years I’ve been working on my antique rowboat and canoe. Every couple of years I have to patch them up and by the time I’m finished, there’s more fiberglass on me than the boats!  Normally it would take me days to get it off… then somehow out of desperation.. I tried 1000+ and It came right off !!   I told my wife. She was complaining about Pine Sap that we couldn’t get off. 1000 + worked right away !! . It’s a long way from our Island to get more.  Now we always keep two bottles at the cottage because we’re scared to run out !! Thanks

 

Photos Below:  A) How fiberglass is used to repair boat;   B) fiberglass repair kit

 

 

Mar 08

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New Products Introduction – 1000+ at Emery Waterhouse

Further to my earlier post about new distributor Emery, 1000+ Stain Remover goes on displayfor the first time in the New Products Section at the Emery’s annual Trade Show, to be held this year in March 2013. The photo below shows the 1000+ Stain Remover 4oz “Handy Size” that can fit anywhere to reach for when messes happen.

 

About Emery-Waterhouse
Founded in 1842, Portland, Maine-based Emery-Waterhouse is a full-service independent hardlines distributor serving hardware dealers, lumberyards and home centers throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. In 2008, the company launched its Emery Building Materials division with operations in Pennsylvania.

Emery-Waterhouse offers product assortments across all major categories ranging from hardware, tools, paint and sundries to lawn and garden supplies.

In addition, Emery-Waterhouse offers value-added services such as innovative merchandising and sales solutions. For more information, visit www.emeryonline.com

Mar 08

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Art Gallery Testimonial – 1000+ Stain Remover

At an awards ceremony last night, in which the Mayor of our community was being honoured for his exceptional work, the Art Gallery photographer saw my business card and stopped what he was doing to share a wonderful experience that the Art Gallery had with 1000+ Stain Remover recently.  The gallery had permitted the walls themselves to be used for an art experiment which was on display for 3 months.  It turns out that the restoration of the walls was more challenging than originally anticipated.  At a critical point in the process, as gallery personnel were deciding what to do next, the photographer himself suggested 1000+ and all persons involved where relieved and pleased to see the removal of the unwanted material from the walls was made much easier and successful with our product

I was particularly grateful for the gentleman’s generosity in sharing this experience with such enthusiasm to all people present, creating a moment that I am certain that stakeholders would have been proud of.  There will be countless such opportunities for 1000+ Stain Remover to be discovered and enjoyed in years to come as 1000+ moves toward its destiny as a household name.  

The joy of satisfied consumers when something they value has been rescued from damage is a real delight to see.  File Photos of the McLaren Art Centre.

 

Mar 01

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The foundation of a brand – Customer Enthusiasm

We receive a number of customer testimonials, but do not typically post them.  However, when a customer has gone out of their way to photograph their experience and share the details, it’s a reminder of just how wonderful customer enthusiasm can be.  The following item was received this week:   This illustrates why we are passionate about what we do at Winning Brands – and why we are looking forward to reaching our goal that 1000+ Stain Remover becomes a household name and favourite in its category.

I have to share this story with you. My niece was raving yesterday about your product, I thought ya, whatever, I’m a believer in “Spray Nine”, and then that night……..I spilled red wine down the front of my white BCBG silk sweater, and jeans.  I promptly blotted it up, and did my “Spray Nine” and was going to wash it right away…… I then noticed that the red wine stain (what was left) had instantly turned blue, bright bright blue.  I researched on the internet and applied table salt which did lighten the blue, I called my niece and asked if I could try that product she had.  She dropped it off to me and within an hour and a wash it was like new again I’ve attached the pictures. I went to Home Depot this morning and bought the last two bottles they had. By far the best product EVER! Thanks for your invention, N.F.

 

 

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