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STOP in the Name in SAVINGS!

August 12, 2015

It’s the middle of August – We can already notice the sun setting a little earlier each week…*sniffle* There are only a couple of weeks left until the end of summer. Students will be getting back into their school routine, and the working community will be back at it in full force.

But with every back to school season, comes some of the biggest sales of the year. An opportunity for consumers to benefit with price savings, and also for retailers who are looking to blow out their leftover summer merchandise.

While some shoppers peruse the flyers, conduct online research and come equipped with a shopping list, there are still a vast majority who make their decisions while in the store.











In accordance to this graph from Canadian Retailer (March 2015), 82% of items purchased by shoppers are the result of in-store decisions.

Signage and in-store displays are a huge factor in persuading shoppers to purchase—- so now would be a perfect time to kick off an exciting signage program to help draw attention to the great deals around your store!

A fun and unique way to help your customers navigate the aisles is Dana’s Directional Signage program.








Traffic signs are designed to be easily detected and recognized by humans according to their colour and shapes. They represent an idea that can be conveyed quickly and effectively – exactly what is required in a fast paced retail environment.

No matter what demographic your store is in, the 90 degree flag on these shelf talkers can’t be missed as a point of interest.








These signs can quickly change the look of the store to create a fun shopping environment for back to school sales. Make sure your customers are stopping and shopping, and don’t overlook any of the great deals.


Pan Am Pandemonium

July 17, 2015

We’re into the second week of the Pan Am Games here in Toronto and absolutely love the buzz in the city from all the competition!

DanaDana Industries

Stadiums are packed, traffic is up on all of our roads, and retailers in the city are experiencing a lift in foot traffic in their stores. For example, businesses in Port Dalhousie located along the walking route from the Pan Am shuttle stop to the Henley Grandstand where the rowing event was taking place, welcomed the traffic.

“We definitely know when the Grandstand is emptying out and when they’re making their way back.

“I’m getting nice little rushes at the breaks,” said one sporting goods retailer. She also added that business had been amazing and she was getting local and out-of-town customers visitors from Oakvillle, Toronto, and the United States who were stopping in on impulse.

Are you a smaller retailer aiming to maximize your sales during this eventful season? Once customers walk through your door, the first 10 to 20 feet in sets the impression of the retail environment.

In-store signage plays a vital part in the overall shopper experience. According to U.S.-based Point of Purchase Advertising International, the number of shoppers making in-store decisions has climbed from 70 percent to 75 percent.

If you’re a little late to the party, aka haven’t implemented any signage yet, and maybe don’t have the budget for a custom program, Dana’s Stock Program is a line of generic titles that could fit in any retail environment. These shelf talkers are always in stock, printed in bold eye-catching colours, and sure to capture your customers’ attention.

Contact us at for more details.






Pan Am Games- More Traffic = More Customers

July 6, 2015

Here in North America we just celebrated two BIG birthdays – our home and native land Canada celebrated it’s 148th on July 1st, and our neighbour down south, the United States, hit the big 239 on July the 4th. Woo-hoo!











Dana works with nations across the globe, and is proud to have our roots planted in Canada – the “tossed salad” of multiculturalism. That being said, this week also kicks off the Pan America Games that Toronto has the privilege of hosting this year.

If you’re from Toronto, literally the only thing you’ve been hearing about leading up to the games is how much traffic congestion there is going to be on the major highways. Let’s switch gears for a second, be the optimist, and talk about how exciting this is for our city.

The Pan Am Games take place every four years, where thousands of athletes from the Americas compete in summer sports.

An infographic from the official Toronto 2015 Pan Am website shows us some facts at a glance:


So yes, as the largest multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada, the city and surrounding areas will be more congested than usual – but higher volume of people should equal great news for retailers.

In 2013, total visitor spending, including same-day trips, was $6.54 billion in the Toronto region across a range of businesses and activities including accommodations, attractions, restaurants, taxis, retail and entertainment. Visitors from overseas countries spent an average 4.5 nights per trip, and spent an estimated $1 billion in the city last year – and these numbers are only going to increase with the volume of Pan Am Games goers.

If your store is situated around one of the game venues, make sure your sign game is on point! Attract customers on the street with an interchangeable displays:


The Pan Am Games involve 41 participating countries and territories, so make sure you’re highlighting any ethnic, and/or “Made in Canada” choices around your store:

Dana Industries

The Pan Am Games occur every four years, so while it may be a little busier than usual, retailers can use this to their advantage. Besides, it’s also a chance to learn a little bit more about our neighbouring countries and be a part of some friendly competition!



How Convenient!

June 22, 2015

Every day, millions of cars travel our nation’s roads, and every day, one in two North Americans step into a convenience store. Not a shocking statistic considering most of our Dana team is in and out of a c-store more often than not, but for retailers these numbers mean everything!











This is especially exciting this summer – a survey led by Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Gatorade show that over the past May 2015 long weekend, total beverage sales grew nearly 6%, the biggest increase since 2012. Lower gasoline prices versus last year are said to be one of the main factors fueling (pun intended) growth. Overall, retailers are projecting a 9% increase in customer traffic this summer.












Now convenience stores are meant to be just that – convenient. Customers will likely spend no more than 5 minutes during their visit, and only about a minute and a half of that time picking out what to buy.











Here are some of the top items usually picked up on a typical c-store stop:











Milk, ice cream, water and soft drinks are among the top items purchased, and would be found in a cooler/freezer unit along the wall space. Signage should be a top priority in these areas to keep traffic flowing and customers happy by highlighting in-store promotions.

All of Dana’s shelf talkers, sign holders, are DIF-40 freezer grade material and will not warp, discolour or crack in freezing temperatures.

These top loader shelf talkers pictured are great for encouraging bundled purchases to increase units per transaction.

Shelf Talker


















At the end of the day, this is some of the most valuable real estate in the store, and the easier it is for customers to navigate with effective merchandising and signage, the more it will pay off!




Cenex statistics


Go Digital or Go…Nowhere

June 8, 2015

Social Media




The mobile revolution is in full force. According to Google, smartphones account for more than half of searches (of any kind) in 10 countries.

Courtesy of, here are some impressive digital marketing statistics that really reinforce the reach and impact a digital strategy can have, and maybe inspire the importance of integration into digital to maximize exposure of your brand/business:

  • CatalogerZ Gallerie increased print sign-ups by 24 percent during a two-week run simply by putting a link to a form on its Instagram page.
  • YouTube said that visitors have increased 40 percent since last year, and it claimed to have more mobile viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 than any cable network.
  • Marketing company SheSpeaks found that 83 percent of women said they discover videos on Facebook, followed by “websites” (54 percent), word-of-mouth (49 percent), blogs (36 percent), Twitter (27 percent) and Instagram (21 percent).
  • A Duke University study found that mobile advertising currently takes up 3.2 percent of marketing budgets but will almost triple to 9 percent in the next three years.
  • Facebook added a donations button to every user’s homepage asking them to help out the victims of the Nepal earthquake; it raised more than $10 million in the first two days.

Mobile devices are a staple when leaving the house, with so much valuable information and connectivity, many would even argue they’re worth turning around for even when you’re already half way to your destination… we’ve all been there!! So you already know these devices will be on hand for in-store shopping trips.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Retailers – if you’re wondering how to expand, or even start your digital marketing strategy, smartphones are a huge opportunity to engage your customers. QR codes can be scanned using a QR reader app and any smartphone’s camera, and can link to any type of content of your choosing at any given time.

Some game changing retailers who have effectively integrated this technology have used QR codes in store to direct customers to their online store/app when a certain product is out of stock, provide detailed product information, provide in-store coupons, enter customers into contests, etc. Again, the content is entirely up to you!

Dana’s iQtalkers® Program provides a user-friendly software which includes dynamic QR codes, provides valuable consumer data, allows for scheduling of changes, and are paired with customized signage to display around your store.








It’s the coming together of digital and physical retailing, the game changing trend of retail convergence that will ultimately filter out who will rise and who will plateau in the connected and competitive digital marketing landscape.




Outdoor Retail- Candy Coloured Gardens

May 25, 2015

Now that we’ve celebrated the unofficial kick off to summer, we can really start to enjoy basking in warm weather, longer days full of sunshine and the return of COLOUR! Now we’re not talking black, grey, white and brown.  But the bright pop of primary colours- red, blue, yellow, green and the countless others that fall in between when stirring them up.

Summer colours are found in green grass, bright lush trees, and an endless array of brightly coloured flowers. Dana’s ideal garden also includes a chocolate brown waterfall, yellow tea-cup daffodils, and a rainbow of gummi bears growing on trees. Kind of like this:

Figure 1: Willy Wonka's garden; image courtesy of

Willy Wonka’s garden.

Dana Industries' Blog

Haskins Garden Centre

One can dream…! So if you’re not Willy Wonka, but do plan to exercise your green thumb, garden centres are now open.

If you’re a retailer, it’s also an opportunity to increase your retail floor space, and create an enticing display for the store front.

Dana Wet Walls™

Dana Wet Walls™






Signage is equally important outdoors as it is indoors, as the clear communication of price and education on the product in question greatly increases the chance of a sale.

Dana Wet Walls™ are specifically manufactured for outdoor use. UV safe material virtually eliminates yellowing, is heat sealed on three sides to prevent moisture from seeping in, and topped with the patented Dana return for ease of interchangeability of product/price point – also available with bottom zippered closure.

If you’re a grocery retailer, Dana Wet Walls™ are also ideal for all year round use in the produce section, which is another area of vibrant, changing seasonal colours. Our Wet Walls™ keep your signs intact when misting fruits and vegetables.

Dana Wet Walls™ in the Produce Section.

Dana Wet Walls™ in the Produce Section

So take advantage of these vibrant colours nature has to offer, paired with virtually maintenance free signage to extend the square footage of your store outdoors!



Don’t Let Your Shopping Chore Become a Long Weekend Bore

May 11, 2015

“May 24” Long Weekend in Canada, which is celebrated in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, is considered to most Canadians as the unofficial kick-off to summer. We in the north are unified in letting out a huge sigh of relief and a loud “FINALLY!!” – as the winter this year was a rough one!

With most stores being closed next Monday, shoppers will need to stock up earlier than later for Queen V’s celebrations, BBQs, cottage trips or whatever plans the long weekend has in store.

In anticipation of the crowds, and to maximize sales for the holiday closure, most retailers have a big flyer this weekend, offering a bunch of items on sale. If you’re a flyer shopper and you don’t have Flipp yet, you need to download it here ( Flipp conveniently brings every flyer in your geographical location to your fingertips!

With big sales happening this weekend, crowds and line-ups are likely to come along with it. So here are a few shopping tips to get you in and out with everything you need:

– If you can, shop early in the morning.

– New flyers usually start on Thursdays, so try to get your shopping done on this day.

– Make a list!

– If you are there specifically for flyer items, scan the aisle for shelf talkers like these to navigate you to items that are on special/sale:

Shelf Talker         Shelf Talker 1

– And of course, nothing beats spotting shelf talkers like this! Bonus!


So stock up, save more, and have fun this weekend!


A World of Flavour

April 24, 2015

For the foodies out there, it is no daunting feat to try those elusive frog legs, bird’s nest soup, reindeer pate…the list goes on & on. It’s an overall exciting experience for the senses, and new adventure for your taste buds.

As Canadians, we can really appreciate and embrace the diversity of culture Canada has to offer. While some see traditional Canadian foods as poutine and maple syrup, you can never really get bored of the food here. There are so many independent grocery retailers in Toronto alone offering a vast array of ethnic produce and products for you to taste some worldly flavours right at home.

Figure 1- Who knew there were so many kinds of bananas? These varieties available at Lone Taie Supermarket in Scarborough, Ontario.

Figure 1- Who knew there were so many kinds of bananas? These varieties available at Lone Taie Supermarket in Scarborough, Ontario.

Ethnic grocery retail sales are estimated at between $4 billion and $5 billion per year, and an ethnic food distributor estimated their sales between $2 billion and $3 billion. You can find specialty stores in Ontario from basically anywhere on the globe, and these retailers have done an excellent job of creating an environment mirroring the look and feel of the hometown most of their products are imported from.

While these niche retailers aim to cater to specific ethnicities, their ultimate goal is really to maximize their customer base and increase sales. English translations on shelf talkers down each aisle can really help customers unfamiliar with the native language to navigate their way down the aisles, and create repeat purchases.


Figure 2- Dana shelf talkers highlight products on sale, and/or provide more information to the customer, which in-turn increase sales.

Figure 2- Dana shelf talkers highlight products on sale, and/or provide information to the customer, which in-turn increase sales.

This is especially important down the snack aisle! All around the globe people are eating more snacks, and more often, each year. The global snacking market, which grossed nearly $400 billion in 2013, grew by another 2 percent from the year prior, and is projected to continue growing in the foreseeable future. So if consumers are willing to try something new and different, it’s likely down the snack aisle.







Craft Beer & Wine…Coming to a Grocery Store Near You?

April 13, 2015

Beer Shelf Talker

Beer and wine sales are a $5 billion a year business in Ontario and may now have more room to grow. British Columbia has been permitted to sell alcohol beginning April 1st. If the Ontario requirements for stores wishing to sell alcohol are similar, retailers need to have a footprint of at least 10,000 square feet. Grocery and alcohol products will need to be separated to prevent illegal sale to minors, and minimum pricing regulations will be in effect to keep prices the same across all stores.

Wine and craft beer groups have been calling for more options to sell their bottles and brews in more places, as beer in particular has a $250,000 minimum fee to be able to sell a single variety of a 6-pack in the Beer Store which acts as a barrier to entry for many of the smaller brewers. With smaller brewers and wineries inching closer to being able to sell in public outlets, you better bet that they will capitalize on the opportunity to make their brand shine on the shelf next to the usual offerings from the “Big 3” brewers: Molson Coors Brewing Co., AnheuserBusch InBev, and Sapporo Breweries Ltd.

Branding becomes important as ever in beer and wine, especially when these guys have an opportunity to gain new customers who go wandering down this exciting new portion of the grocery store when grabbing their eggs and milk.

You always hear that the secret to any good relationship is to “communicate, communicate, communicate!” You can’t assume anything, or read anyone’s mind. Same goes for building a fruitful relationship with a potential new customer. The first step is to communicate why a particular craft is right for them. If you make the connection, purchase and tasting comes next. Next thing you know the customer is in a long-term relationship, grabbing that craft brew for every party, long weekend and cottage trip.

So back to that ever so important step of communication:

Is your brew local? Let it be known! – shelf talker with a flag.


Most importantly, description. For those not well versed in beer flavours, it is really helpful to have a sign describing the taste, bitterness, carbonation, mouth feel etc., of your brew. These pre-printed sign holders make the message easy and straightforward.



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