Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ban Comic Sans!

It's amazing what you don't know in life.
Here is an email today from our in house designer Erin, answering a question about a font I liked that had caught my eye and I wanted to know what the name of it was.
Seems my taste in fonts is not too good, and thank heavens we have Erin to keep us on the good side of the designer communities everywhere. We went to the website link she posted and were literally crying with laughter. Some of the YouTube videos did have some coarse language, but it was totally hilarious.
Thanks Erin for brightening our day on what is now known as the wettest August Day in Vancouver History.

On Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 9:13 AM, Erin Anderson wrote:
Hi ,
That would be (the widely mocked) Comic Sans. It's super common since it comes with Windows, and it's the only font I know of that has actual hate groups dedicated to eradicating it from the face of the earth. Google "Comic sans" and the first result is:

I would strongly advise against using it for anything more professional than a Missing Cat flyer. If you're looking for fonts that look like comic lettering or kid's handwriting, there are lots of better alternatives.


Erin Anderson
Graphics & Marketing

Zappos Tour Part 1: History

As promised, Here's Part 1 of the Zappos video! More to follow...

Friday, August 27, 2010

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Today I read this "snap back to reality" kind of email from a friend. At first as I read it I was thinking of one of my all time favourite movies - Brewster's Millions  where Richard Pryor has to spend millions of dollars in 30 days. I always thought that would be quite fun but exhausting at the same time. But it actually was so much more.
As I read to the end of the email - I really had a WOW moment. I just turned 43 and you know, I live each day more passionately now that I did when I was 25. This kind of email/inspiration or whatever you call it really hits home with me.

A few months ago another friend asked me "What gets you out of bed in the morning?" It seems like such a simple question but as I stumbled thru the typical answers like "the alarm clock"... "to build a great company"... "to sell office supplies" and others, he really challenged me to find a new reason to get out of bed in the morning. Something that will get me jumping out of bed, something so inspiring to me and others that it really is a life changer. Something so big I needed to enrol others to collectively make a significant difference in peoples lives. In the past few months I have begun a new project and it really does get me out of bed! I can't get into it right now, but over the next year you'll see the beginnings of our work.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Take the poll here and I'll draw for a $50 Cineplex Movie Gift Card on September 17th.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Interesting concept, and so true.........
 Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:
Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400.00 in your private account for your use.
 However, this prize had rules, just as any game has certain rules. The first set of rules would be:
1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.

Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400.00 for that day.

The second set of rules:

1. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “It’s over, the game is over!”
2. It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do?

You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right? Not only for yourself, but for all people you love, right? Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every cent, and use it all, right?


Each of us is in possession of such a “magical” bank. We just can’t seem to see it.

Each awakening morning we receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is NOT credited to us.

What we haven’t lived up that day is forever lost.
Yesterday is forever gone.
Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time… WITHOUT WARNING.

WELL, what will you do with your 86,400 seconds?
Aren’t they worth so much more than the same amount in dollars?

Think about that, and always think of this:
Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, and enjoy life!
Here’s wishing you a wonderfully beautiful day!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Junior Mints Pt. II

Yesterday we had the emergency order of JUNIOR MINTS for our customer, the QE Theatre.

Today we received this fantastic voice mail from our customer. It really made our day.


At Costless Express we try to focus on any opportunity to WOW our customers. Seems we really made an impact here and our team was clapping as we shared it in our call center for all to hear.

I hope we have a chance to WOW you to some day soon.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Junior Mints!

Tonight we received an emergency call from our long time friends at the Queen E Theatre. The call was a desperate cry for ... JUNIOR MINTS!

Yes, Junior Mints. You see, Jerry Seinfeld was in town for his concerts at the QE and there was a mad rush on Junior Mints by fans of the hit TV show (Episode 60).
I have been a big Seinfeld fan when the show was on, but recently I haven't sat thru any syndicated repeat shows. But for this post, I wanted to do a quick research on the Junior Mints episode, and I found myself immersed back into the show. There is so much cool stuff at your fingertips online now about Jerry and the show. It's amazing how the internet has made everything so accessible.
Here are a few cool links:
The Junior Mints portion of Episode 60
How about the original script from Episode 60?
The Wikipedia page for the show!
Only in real life --  A sexual harassment suit just for discussing the episode:
A conversation in Milwaukee the day after the episode aired led to a lawsuit in which jurors awarded Jerold J. Mackenzie $26.6 million on July 15, 1997. Mackenzie was terminated by Miller Brewing Co. on the basis that discussing the episode with his secretary constituted sexual harassment. Later, however, the lawsuit was overturned by the court of appeals, and this ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
May 6th, 1981 - Jerry's first TV appearance on Johnny Carson

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Switch

At Costless Express we just finished our year end. So August is a fun time for us here in the company as we set new goals for budgets, capital investments and the best part - our Marketing Calendar.

Our Marketing Committee spent no time adding on some new and exciting marketing initiatives for this upcoming year, including VIP Movie Premiere Nights for selected releases during the year.

Today we gave away exclusive red carpet premiere passes to the movie The Switch starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman. Have a look - it's a great movie from what we hear.

Our customer feedback was incredible, and I have special thanks to our marketing committee for chasing down such a cool idea and our close friends at Maple Pictures and Lions Gate Films for making this an ongoing promotion. We plan to have several VIP Premiere events thru out the year.

At Costless Express we supply many of the production houses in town and have made many friends in the Vancouver film community. It's been a soft few years compared to the booming times of the past (investment revenue was said to exceed one billion per year) but I'm happy to say that film business is on the rise again and we expect to see significant investment in the Lower Mainland in this category.


Visiting Zappos

At Costless Express we are obsessed with WOWing customers and offering the best customer service possible in an environment that breeds the best employee culture possible. So it would only make sense that we learn how to be the best by having close ties with one of the best companies in customer service.

For us, we feel Zappos.com exemplifies the culture and service ethics we strive for each day. If you are not aware of Zappos, then you only need to know that they went from zero sales to ONE Billion in sales in under 10 years, and the success can be directly attributed to WOWing customers with service. Check out http://www.zappos.com/ for starters and I'll fill in more about them later.

Over the past year we have had a close relationship with Zappos and the team there has answered any questions we threw at them from hiring practices to service statistics and even how they build their culture.

This weekend we were invited down to tour the Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas and then to attend a VIP party for their staff, vendors and close friends.

All I can say about the party at this point is it has something to do with a BUS and a BOOK.

There are so many stories to tell and video to share that I'll break it up over the next few weeks. I'll also post an 11 part video series of the main highlights of the tour onto our YouTube channel  and share some fun pictures on our Facebook gallery.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eco Fair!

Today and yesterday our crew was downtown at Bentall Plaza for a yearly Eco Fair.

It's a great chance to showcase our extensive line-up of environmentally friendly products from recycled paper to cardboard binders, recycled waste baskets to eco cleaning products.

Since we purchased Frogfile, the eco office supply company, in October last year, Costless Express has become the leader in eco products, with a industry leading selection of over 7500 products.

Did you see our Twitter feed on the 11th and 12th? Some of you did and came by for your free ream of Harbour 100 copy paper. Thanks for following us!

One program we have that was of big interest to the attendees was that we recycle Keurig K-Cups. Something not seen from other Keurig providers. I know we picked up a few new customers who were switching because their current supplier didn't offer this service. If you would like more info on our Keurig K-Cup recycle program just click here!

To learn more about our Keurig Machines and our selection of over 100 flavours, click here.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy BC (Broken Cooler) Weekend

The tip of the milk iceberg
OK... glass half full… glass half full… happy thoughts…

With every bad news comes a silver lining, and I'm going to take some bad news here and focus on the silver.

Over the BC Day long weekend, our power blew and our giant walk-in coolers and freezers shut down. Inside we keep $5-10,000 worth of milk, creamer, cheeses, bagels, breads, muffins, croissants, cookies and all sorts of fresh fruits like apples, oranges, pears and the list goes on.

Well, Sandy and I just stopped in the office Monday to install a Wii game console in the boardroom as a surprise to the staff for hitting a record breaking sales year. While walking in the warehouse as we came in, we noticed the coolers fans were not on (usually they are quite loud.) So we opened the cooler door and… $%#& #$@# (golly darn)… pardon my French… the power breaker had blown, and the inside of the cooler was as warm as the warehouse.

Food Bank donation - 400 dozen bagels!
OK… happy thoughts… all the perishable product was ruined, but the bakery product would still be OK since it was flash frozen from the factory. (Once thawed, it has 7 - 10 days of shelf life.)

So we pulled out all the bakery product and put it on carts to send to the Food Bank. They were so overwhelmed with product, they said they were going to divide up the donation and share it with 3-4 other agencies. So on that glass half full side, it was great to see the product go to good use. We wrote off about $6,000 of product, and we are now installing a thermostat monitored by our alarm so this doesn't happen again.

I wanted to give a shout out of appreciation to our staff who really pulled it together Tuesday morning to recover and restock (thanks Accounting, Sales, Todd, Kirsti, Joy, Kathie, Gord and all the Warehouse) so we could be back up right away.

My only concern was that we disappointed our customers who counted on us for these products after a long weekend. We called every customer and they all were OK waiting a day, but still - our brand promise is perfect every time - on time.
I do apologize personally to our customers for any disruption to your busy days.