I’m closing our Broadway Store, and I’m excited.

Cookworks on West Broadway, that became Cook Culture when we bought it in 2014, has been in its location for over 20 years.  That’s a long run, that is coming to an end. I’m closing the store for 2 reasons:

1) The market on South Granville has become challenged, and even through we have a great landlord, the market has shifted and our traffic continues to decline. This happens, but we know it’s not (totally) something we’re doing as traffic is not the issues at other locations – unless it’s snowing.

2) Traffic was the same issue that we faced in our downtown Vancouver location when we took over the spot from Cookworks. That location needed some life and a major store renovation with the addition of a Cooking School and Plant Based Juice Bar was what was needed. Traffic has grown and even with online shopping becoming a larger part of our business, we still find this centrally located store is well loved by locals and tourists. I don’t believe the market is there to justify this type of massive expense in the Broadway location so I’m not going to do it – plain and simple.

Why am I excited?

I consider myself a student to retail, and I’ve seen a load of things in my 25 years in business. Nothing has been more powerful and influential to my business than the internet. I plugged my first internet connection into a small back office of my mom’s retail business over 20 years ago and was floored by the intense power to connect to my vendors, new products, customers and potential customers. I embraced the new technology, spending vast amounts of time trying to make sense of what this meant for me, and my customers. I was not first to market, or an early adopter of online sales, as back then I couldn’t see how a business like mine made a living selling retail gear on the internet with logistics and marketing costs. We’re a service based business, and service is best served face to face – or as I thought.

We have used this technology to become one of the largest Culinary educators in our country.  Over 90% of our Cooking class bookings are placed online and fully managed by a digital process. This ensures 100% process satisfaction and much less labour to manage the customer journey, that helps us keep our pricing lower.

Customer service in retail has changed drastically in the last few years. High quality service to deliver products no longer must be face to face – but, as always, it does have to meet or exceed your expectations. Being available and having answers so that customers do not needlessly waste time is the name of the game.

This new retail landscape is an exciting place to do business. Helping people find solutions is our job and we want to do it as best as we can. Meeting people on Social Media, through text messaging, by way of our Newsletters, or face to face in stores and classrooms, has become our everyday process. Our improved methods are allowing us to stay relevant, and trustworthy, in a time where choice is endless.

By closing our Broadway Store, it allows us to dedicate more time, and resources to meet you where you are. Don’t get me wrong; I’m an old retailer at heart, and I love our physical stores, but they need to be special places. I believe they must be Food Hubs, or an amenity for your neighbourhood – like a Community Centre.  The mundane tasks of getting you a can-opener can happen with or without a visit to our stores. First hand knowledge, that enriches your life through, taste, touch, and smell, is something that I believe is still done best one-on-one.

So now all that’s out of they way – what about the SALE!?! Yes, we’re having a Closing Sale. Everything in the store is on sale 10% to 50% off. We’re closing for good on April 21st, 2019, and it’s first come first serve. Get in while you can.

Thanks. Jed

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