Dave Nichol, Dead at 73

In MemoriumDave Nichol was 73. He was the popular pitchman for the Loblaws grocery store chain in Canada. He brought us the delicious Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie and the "Memories of" products.



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Lynne

I worked with him (not closely) way back in the 70s at the corporate head office of George Weston Limited. (I was in dull old finance.) He was the liveliest and by far the most eccentric one there. The only fun part of our day was to watch what his poor assistant was going through. He needed a lot of pampering. But he sure put Loblaws in a whole different category. A brilliant man.

September 26, 2013 @ 11:14 AM

Douglas

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a Canadian south of the Arctic Circle who has not tried at least one product that Dave Nichol or his successors have introduced. PC Decadent Chocolate chip cookies account for 40% of all packaged cookie sales in Canada. All of the different Loblaw stores combined are nowhwere near a 40% share of Canadian grocery retailing.

Several graduate business schools in the U.S. have parts of their consumer product marketing programs based on Nichol's Loblaw research on "No Name" and "President's Choice", both acknowledged as the most successful programs of their kind. "No Name" successfully made people feel good about buying private label product and not feel that they were being "cheap". Nichol's/Loblaw's biggest success by far was President's Choice, a premium private label program with margins far higher than what could be achieved with national brands. Loblaw also made good money from consulting for grocers around the world, including most of the top 20 grocers in the US. Even Walmart sought out Loblaw's private label program expertise (at the time, it did not appear that Walmart was going to be getting into groceries in Canada).

Dave Nichol was a brilliant man, and very personable when I once met him in a store. Loblaw was a moribund grocer until he took over.

September 26, 2013 @ 12:07 PM

Ben Vidal

@ Lynne: He was also as crooked as they come. He bought off and was bought off by numerous vendors. The CPG community still carries disdain for his years there. I'm sure he was still receiving kick backs to this day. Those at Loblaws still there and higher up in the organization still cringe in regards to that man and the things he did to that company that the average shopper wouldn't know.


There is no denying the success he brought to Loblaws in terms of the private label brand. I agree with Douglas you would be hard pressed not to find someone in Canada that doesn't know about presidents choice; especially their cookies.

With all of this said, I can't deny loving his commercials back in the day.

September 26, 2013 @ 1:47 PM

Wayner

To this day I still look forward to the "Insider's Report"...especially the Christmas edition...

September 26, 2013 @ 3:00 PM

Anon&on

And the beer, I think that was his pet project after the PC revolution.

September 26, 2013 @ 5:50 PM

Mike from Lowville

Iconic!

September 27, 2013 @ 7:00 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Loved the beer, actually tasted like a premium beer to my milque toast pallette. Definitely made his mark.

September 27, 2013 @ 6:05 PM

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