What can one person do to help?
All franchisees should support autonomy in supply when they shop for their family’s needs.
And they should encourage all their staff, relatives and customers to do the same.
Ontario has 40,000 franchisees in over 500 different tradename systems spanning fast food, petroleum, coffee, pizza: almost every vertical market. They all seem so different but they’re almost 100% the same in one aspect: the head office (franchisor) forces the local businessperson (franchisee) to buy products only through them. Sometimes the margins charged to the franchisees are extremely high, and act as a hidden franchise fee or brand tax.
Canada’s grocery industry is heavily franchised and these “tied buying” types of provisions are usually ruthlessly enforced.
- Grocery franchises have been some of the most active franchisees in pushing for protective legislation. And they’ve been trying to do this (protect themselves AND all Ontario franchisees) for decades and decades.
- They are unquestionably leaders in franchisee advocacy.
This post follows up on a July 20th posting called Rumblings in Canada’s grocery elite: Sobeys franchisees go independent. Nine banner food stores have decided to go independent and purchase their goods via a buying group called the Hometown Grocers Co-op.
Thanks to Sarah B. Hood at Toronto Tasting Notes for providing the specific locations of these leading former forced-supply retailers (Local Ontario Grocers Break Away From Sobey’s to Sell More Local Food).
Why not take a beautiful drive into southwestern Ontario, say hello to some true leaders and stock up on food with the following community retailers:
- Arthur (L & M Markets),
- Chesley (Chesley Grocery Store),
- Drayton (Drayton Food Market),
- Durham, (L & M Markets),
- Elora (L & M Markets),
- Grand Valley (Hind’s Foods),
- Harriston (L & M Markets),
- Lucknow (Knechtel Food Market), and
- Palmerston (L & M Markets).
If fellow franchisees fail to support each other, we deserve to continue to pay these high hidden franchise fees that come from the monopoly franchisors force via franchise contract provisions.
Nine freer grocery franchisees should be very good news to all Canadian franchisees BUT should be supported very aggressively.