Scott Chandler is Marketing Director at Meyer Canada, Canada’s only cookware manufacturer. Meyer Canada produces Meyer-branded cookware for its retail and distributor partners.
Meyer Canada’s cookware is used in the Canadian Prime Minister’s residence, the Culinary Institute of Canada, and by Chef Michael Smith. Meyer Canada is partnered with Canadian retailer Indigo on Convictional.
How long has Meyer Canada been manufacturing cookware in Canada?
Meyer Canada has been manufacturing cookware in Canada since 2017, when it purchased our factory in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Prior to that, Meyer was manufacturing cookware under brand names like Kitchenaid, Circulon, Rachael Ray, and more, outside Canada and distributing it in the Canadian market.
The PEI factory has been manufacturing cookware since 1979 for the original owner, Padinox. In 2017, Meyer acquired the manufacturing and distribution assets of Padinox and has been proudly producing high quality cookware locally since.
One major upgrade that our PEI factory made after being acquired by Meyer Canada is a move towards automation. Meyer made a multi-million dollar investment to replace much of the old machinery and to introduce robots and automated systems that turned the operation into a state of the art facility. The automation allowed us to have the routine and manual jobs performed automatically now and instead have our factory team focus on higher value-added jobs, like operating the robots and equipment. The investment project also significantly improved the working conditions in the factory.
What were the highlights of 2022 for Meyer Canada?
The big highlight of last year was being able to ramp up our manufacturing capacity. The maximum units that we had ever been able to manufacture in Canada prior to 2017 was about 150,000. With our automation upgrade and employee re-training, we now have the capacity to manufacture closer to a million units annually.
What motivated the decision to dropship?
Dropship, marketplaces, and online sales were really a necessity for us. The Meyer cookware brand had not been active in Canada in several years so when we re-launched it with our Canadian-made assortment, it was almost as if we were starting from scratch again. As you would imagine, many of our traditional brick & mortar retailers wanted to see some traction with consumers prior to committing valuable shelf space to the brand. In addition to the Meyer brand, we also distribute several others which many of our retail partners desired to include in extended aisle assortments as well, so dropship was a natural course of growth for our business.
We decided to start with getting listed on marketplaces. We’re currently on six marketplaces, including Walmart and Amazon.
Indigo approached us to dropship for them. It may not necessarily make sense to walk into an Indigo store and find cookware floating around, but it certainly made sense online. So dropship opened up that opportunity to partner with them.
How quickly were you able to get up and running with dropship?
When Indigo approached us and told us about Convictional, I’m not sure that any dropship or marketplace relationship got set up so quickly and so efficiently. I believe our first order came within the first week we went live. Through our various etail and marketplace partnerships, we have experience with a variety of platforms to manage drop shipments, but Convictional has been the best app we have used for dropship.
One of the problems with marketplace and online sales is that if you don’t have somebody like Convictional and you have 400 SKUs, life becomes very difficult. It’s 400 prices, stock codes and UPC codes, and three to four pictures per product. It becomes quite a lot of work with a high chance of error for us.
What tips would you share with a brand just getting started with marketplace or dropship?
I would encourage brands to focus very hard on their customer service. When you go on one of the biggest marketplaces in North America, Amazon, it really boils down to customer service because their customers expect to receive their products in 48 hours. Our motto is to be honest, operate with integrity and run our business with high customer service standards because that’s what customers expect and it’s the right thing to do.
Having your logistics set up to provide a great customer experience in dropship is vital. Doing things like sending a personal note with an order thanking the customer, if you can drop a smiley face in the box, all of that stuff says, “Hey, I just ordered one product, but I feel like they fulfilled a really big order, and I feel really important and valued.” But you can only do things like that if you have your logistics in place.
What are you excited about for 2023 at Meyer Canada?
I’m excited to continue growing our relationship with Indigo - we’re growing our product selection on Indigo by 100 items in 2023, within our existing products and with new products as well.
We also have another brand called Hestan, which is manufactured by one of our global factories in Italy. Hestan will be launching on Indigo in 2023.
We’re also launching Meyer Hybrid Clad, which is a hybrid between stainless steel pans and non-stick pans. It’ll fry your eggs but also sear your meat. It’ll be the first Canadian-made product in this category. Finally, we’re also releasing a copper clad product and a wok later this year.
Thanks to Scott for participating in this conversation!
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