Tim Hortons saw sales fall more than 40 per cent in the last two weeks of March as customers adjusted their daily routines and opted to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The losses have slightly improved since then, with the coffee and doughnut chain’s parent company Restaurant Brands International reporting that sales have declined by more than a third as of the end of April.
RBI, which reported its first quarter results on Friday, saw comparable sales drop 10.3 per cent at Tim Hortons in the three month period ending March 31, the most among its three fast food chains. Comparable sales – a key metric in the retail industry – fell 3.7 per cent at at Burger King, while Popeyes saw sales surge by 26.2 per cent.
Similarly, Burger King saw sales fall by low-thirty percentages in the last two weeks of March, but recovered to a loss in the teens by the end of April. At Popeyes, sales were flat in the last two weeks of March, and have returned to pre-COVID-19 levels as of the end of April, in part due to the popularity of the brand’s chicken sandwich.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="RBI’s stock (QSR) was down nearly 1 per cent as of mid-day trading on Friday.” data-reactid=”27″>RBI’s stock (QSR) was down nearly 1 per cent as of mid-day trading on Friday.
“As COVID-19 has spread, most our guests have put their ordinary routines on pause and consumption has shifted accordingly,” RBI chief executive Jose Cil said on a conference call with analysts Friday. Tim Hortons has seen a pronounced impact, he added, as it relies heavily on routine-based business.
“Breakfast, snacking, and other routine-based day parts have been disproportionately impacted across all of our businesses, and this dynamic is clearly illustrated in our results at Tims, and those of our coffee-oriented competitors in North America.”
Fast food chains around the world are grappling with drastically reduced demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tim Hortons began adjusting its operations in response to the crisis in early March, when the coffee chain stopped accepting reusable cups. Shortly after, it had to pivot its marquee Roll Up the Rim contest to an all-digital contest, delaying the handout of nearly 2 million reusable cups and pulling 81 million paper roll-up cups from the market.
“It’s hard to quantify the final impact of the program on sales, given it coincided exactly with lockdowns beginning in Canada,” Cil said.
“But we saw a clear benefit from an all-digital promotion, which greatly contributed to the 1.5 million new app downloads and a significant increase in loyalty registration during the quarter.”
In mid-March Tim Hortons closed all its in-store dining, which represents approximately 40 per cent of the company’s business. RBI’s chief corporate officer Duncan Fulton said the decision has accelerated other ongoing initiatives at Tim Hortons, such as delivery and a new curbside pick-up feature in the company’s app.
“There’s been a very big shift in focus, certainly to drive thru, being our biggest channel, but delivery as well,” Fulton said. Before the crisis, 200 Tim’s locations were offering delivery. That number has now hit 1,100.
“I think the crisis, out of necessity, has made us rapidly advance our digital agenda to get to a place that we probably should have already been at.”
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sales at Tim Hortons have been a weak spot amid otherwise stellar results for RBI over the past year. In February, the company had announced a “back to basics” plan that refocused on its coffee, baked goods and breakfast business after a year that saw dozens of promotions and product launches contribute to lagging sales.” data-reactid=”37″>Sales at Tim Hortons have been a weak spot amid otherwise stellar results for RBI over the past year. In February, the company had announced a “back to basics” plan that refocused on its coffee, baked goods and breakfast business after a year that saw dozens of promotions and product launches contribute to lagging sales.
The plan included the rollout of new fresh brewer technology, a refreshed marketing campaign focused on highlighting the company’s coffee, and modernizing its drive-thru operations by introducing digital menu boards. Some of those projects, including the modernizing of the drive-thru, have since been put on pause as the company grapples with the coronavirus crisis.
“While we continued to make progress on key project during the first part of the quarter… the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has caused us to press pause on many of these initiatives,” RBI’s chief financial officer Matt Dunnigan said on the conference call.
“We remain confident in the rationale behind each of our investment projects, and we’ll resume work once we are sure it is safe to do so.”
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Telus selects Nokia, Ericsson as 5G suppliers – Yahoo Canada Finance
Vancouver-based national carrier Telus has selected Nokia and Ericsson as its 5G vendors, a press release from the company said.
The news comes the same day that Bell announced it too would use Ericsson to provide radio access network (RAN) equipment.
“Our team is committed to rolling out superior network technology from urban to rural communities, fueling our economy and driving innovation as we power Canadians into the 5G era through an unparalleled network experience,” Telus’ CEO Darren Entwistle said in the release.
“Our 5G deployment will support economic growth and diversity that will be essential for the virtualization of health, education, teleworking, and stimulating the economic growth and recovery given the impact of COVID-19.”
During its Q1 2020 earnings, CFO Doug French said its focus right now is to help its customers during the COVID-19 crisis.
In its Q4 2019 earnings, the carrier said it was not going to pre-announce its 5G launch plans but that its initial module, or the first phase of the 5G rollout, would be with Huawei until the government approves its RFP.
Bell and Telus use Huawei’s network equipment in some areas. The federal government is still reviewing whether or not it intends to ban the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer from participating in Canada’s 5G rollout.
Rogers also uses Ericsson as a 5G vendor.
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North American equity markets rally in spite of widespread unrest – BNNBloomberg.ca
1:15 p.m. ET: North American equity markets extend gains into midday, oil rallies
North American equity markets were solidly in positive territory through the midday trade, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index up 0.9 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.8 per cent, the S&P 500 rising 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite modestly higher, up 0.1 per cent.
U.S. benchmark oil West Texas Intermediate accelerated higher into the afternoon, rising more than three per cent to US$36.55 per barrel to trade at session highs.
That helped lift the TSX energy sector, which led the way on the composite with a 3.4-per-cent gain on the session.
The Canadian dollar continued to move higher against its U.S. counterpart, gaining a third of a cent to trade at 74.04 cents U.S., though the greenback has been broadly weaker against almost all of its major-market peers.
9:35 a.m. ET: North American equity markets rally in spite of widespread unrest
North American markets notched gains into the early trading day Tuesday, with the S&P/TSX Composite Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average both up half a per cent, the S&P 500 gaining a third of a per cent and the Nasdaq Composite Index up a more modest 0.1 per cent. The gains came in spite of widespread civil unrest in the United States, as some police responded with force to demonstrators protesting against systemic racial inequities.
In Toronto, shares of BlackBerry Ltd. rose about seven per cent to extend Monday’s gains after an unconfirmed report from StreetInsider said the company has held talks with Fairfax Financial over a deal for Fairfax to acquire the remainder of BlackBerry’s shares. In an email to BNN Bloomberg, BlackBerry declined to comment on rumours or speculation.
Crude oil prices were higher, with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate up half a per cent to US$35.0 per barrel, though it had briefly breached the US$36 level earlier in the day. Crude has gotten a boost from the OPEC+ group’s production curtailments, and there are reports the group may extend those cuts for another month to support prices.
Alberta’s Western Canadian Select also gained, rising 1.55 per cent to US$29.51 per barrel.
The Canadian dollar extended Monday’s surge against its U.S. counterpart, gaining another two-tenths of a cent to 73.90 cents U.S.
All Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity stores in Canada to close down – CBC.ca
Reitmans will shutter 77 Addition Elle and 54 Thyme Maternity stores across Canada as part of its restucturing process, the Montreal-based retailer announced Tuesday.
Last month, the 94-year-old fashion chain announced that it would restructure its operations partly because of COVID-19, which hammered retailers hard.
In addition to its eponymous chain focusing on work clothes for career-aged women, Reitmans also runs the Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity, RW & Co. and Penningtons chains.
As past of the restructuring process, Reitmans has decided to permanently close Addition Elle and Thyme Maternity. The former focuses on plus size fashions. The latter on maternity wear.
The move will result in the loss of about 1,400 jobs — 1,100 in store and about 300 at head office.
“The strategic decision to close two beloved Canadian fashion brands was not made lightly, but it is necessary to enable our business to move forward as a profitable organization,” CEO Stephen Reitman said.
“All of the efforts we put forth to turn these brands around were derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and, unfortunately, we can no longer afford the required resources to bring them back to profitability.”
Locations of both chains are set to reopen in the coming days, subject to physical distancing restrictions across the country, but the two retail chains will be in wind-down mode, liquidating as much inventory as possible to pay back creditors.
The last day for Thyme Maternity will be July 18.
The last day for Addition Elle will come the next month, on August 15.
Company wide, before the restructuring process began Reitmans had 576 stores across Canada, including 259 Reitmans, 106 Penningtons and 80 RW & CO. locations. Many stores for the surviving three brand names will also close, as the company plans to put more focus into selling online.
Jets’ Blake Wheeler on racism: ‘You can’t be silent anymore’ – Sportsnet.ca
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