Don Segal emailed me in March of 2008. He wrote about his father, Ely Segal, and his involvement with the start of Towers back in 1960. You can read about Don and Ely here. In his email, Don attached images of a remarkable document - the Tower Times - an employee newspaper. Scroll down to view bits and pieces of it. Enjoy!
Scanned version of
"Towers Times" Volume 1, July 1962
First in Canada
Towers Marts and Properties Limited
99 Avenue Road, Toronto 5, Ontario
Editor: Robert Gray
National Public Relations Director
Managing Editor: Madeline Tauchman
Ben Rosenburg, President, Towers Marts and Properties Limited
Ely Segal, Vice-President in Charge of Merchandising
and National Advertising
Seymour Zuckerman, Assistant to the President
Once again I welcome this opportunity to reach all of you through the medium of this our own publication.
On June 14th just passed, we experienced another milestone in the growth of our company - with the fanfare and balloons and popcorn and excitement and thrills and speeches and a tremendous surge of thousands of people rushing to come to our 11th store opening in Canada.
This truly was a milestone in our gross in that in addition to being our 11th store in Canada it was our third in the metropolitan Toronto area and our first was in the city of Toronto proper.
We are now rated as one of the largest retail organizations in the country following only some of those organizations which have been established in some cases almost a century. As rapid and it's expensive and as ambitious as our growth has been to this point let me further assure you that this is merely a sample of what our future expansion gross will be. The number of employees which we had a year ago was it mere handful by comparison to the number we now have and one year from now we will again be in a position to say the same thing. It will be leased it will at least by that time have doubled.
As a further revolution in growth of our organization, we have recently completed the merger of xan number of our concessionaire companies into one strong unit known as Allied Powers Merchants Limited.
This new organization, which is combined the finance and efforts and ability of most of our concessionaires with the Towers organization, has added most substantially to our power and growth ability.
This then, in turn, has afforded even greater potential for the advancement and promotion and growth of all employees within the are combined organization.
There is available to each and every employee regardless of what his own position or capacity is a growth is greatest Canada itself.
We are happy to be in this great adventure together was all of you and are happy to afford the advancement opportunity to all of you.
We hope and pray that each of you will take advantage of these opportunities and bend every effort possible, on your behalf and on ours, to grow with using all the Ingenuity and intelligence and integrity at your command.
We are fully aware that as each and every employee in our midst improves his position in our company then so will our company improve and its position in this great community of Canada.
Towers' "National Employee Of The Month"
Maintenance with a smile. Everyone around the Dixie store knows Bill Wright, the friendly fellow in the Maintenance Department who gives everyone a hand.
Bill came to Toronto from Northern Ireland as a lad of 14, so there's still a bit of brogue in his speech and blarney in his smile. He his now a grandfather with gardening as a hobby.
A loyal employee since the opening of the store. Towers is proud to hail Bill as the winner of the $50 "National Employee of the Month" award.
Towers Top Management Team Tie-up
Toronto Traffic at the Grand Opening of 11th Store
Sunny skies and the rousing music of a band set a festive mood for the greatest smash-opening yet as Towers threw open the doors of their first discount department store within the city limits of Toronto on June 14. Over 62,000 shopped passed through the entrances in the first twelve hours to shatter existing opening-day attendance records.
A plane's-eye view of the parking lot at Towers High Park shows one means of transportation which brought record-smashing crowds to the grand opening on June 14. Thousands came by TTC. By evening traffic was tied up for several blocks around the store.
The invocation was given by Rev. M.R. Sanderson of Emmanuel United Church, following which members of the platform party and Towers officials were introduced. Ald. Mary Temple spoke on behalf of the Corporation of the City of Toronto. After a brief address, President Ben Rosenberg cut the tape and declared open for business the eleventh link the lengthening chain of Towers stores.
As the crowds surged inside, the disparity between the number of cards on the parking lot and the number of customers being clock in was quickly noted said Manager
Community PR activities
When's the El Morocco nightclub went up in flames at Stoney Creek, it was not immediately realized that to the family of Lawrence Burke, living at the rear of the building, it meant the loss of everything they owned.
Mr. and Mrs. Burke, four children ranging in age from 11 to 15 years, and an 81 year old grandfather, were left homeless with only the clothing they wore when they escaped the fire.
Among the neighbors offering a friendly hand was Towers of Stony Creek. The family was called to the store and each presented with brand new items of clothing. Employees quickly got together and donated $50.
* * *
Towers of Scarborough saluted Victoria Day with a half hour band concert and flag raising ceremony on the parking lot. After a brief address by Scarborough counselor F.D. Cummings, who was introduced by manager Ted Ashley, the 631 Squadron R.C.A.F. Cadet Band entertain shoppers and presented a snappy precision drill.
* * *
Was a specially constructed plastic container bearing the sign "Wanted: One Million Pennies to Fight Cancer" permanently displayed on the store premises, Towers of Waterloo kicked off a noteworthy campaign with the blessings of the Canadian Cancer Society.
The drive, in conjunction with radio station CKCR, was officially launched with a special program broadcast directly from the store. First to donate was Max Sohler, Waterloo manager, who deposited 10,000 pennies, followed by the various department heads who each donated 500 pennies.
* * *
Towers of Waterloo played host recently to 15 mentally retarded children who were conducted on a shopping tour of the store. They were treated to soft drinks and donuts in the employee's lounge and, on leaving the store, each youngster was presented with a bag of cookies to to round out a memorable morning.
* * *
Following along the same line, Towers of London recently entertain nine crippled children at a party in the staff lounge. Treats, balloons and paper hat contributed to a festive event which was as much enjoyed by the employees who helped out as by the children themselves.
* * *
A successful "Town & Country Fair" with circus tents, ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds and games was held on the parking lot at Aldershot, sponsored by a local church. Extra heavy store traffic resulted and, at the conclusion of the two-day event, the church had gone over the expected quota.
How to obtain public confidence
by Tony Sketches, Operations Director
Business organizations stand or fall because one all-important prerequisite - public confidence. Without it, a business falters. With it, progress, expansion and success are goals not so difficult to reach. It is axiomatic, therefore, that we of Towers consider one of our most precious possessions to be customer good-will.
Confidence is nothing you can touch or feel. Either it exists or doesn't. It is extremely important in our store organization that it does exist and here is when you to store personnel can ensure our success.
Customers are not merely statistics or numbers who pass through checkout counters. They are people - and as people they shop where they want to shop. It is our job to help him want to shop at Towers.
It is possible that a customer might come into a store for the first time because he or she was drawn in by advertising or promotion. What is most important is that the customer having entered our store the first time is made to feel at home so she will want to return.
Wouldn't it be ridiculous for us to open the store with the aim of selling just once to every customer? Yet this is exactly what happens when a customer becomes dissatisfied or loses confidence in our store.
We must make the customer want to return; we must treat her, not just as another item of business routine, but as a person. This is part of his success secret: customers are persons; they must be treated as personally as possible.
What can we do to make sure the customers will come back? First, we must be thoroughly familiar with our merchandise, so that questions or difficulties customers have can be quickly and efficiently overcome.
We must be hospitable. Just as friends appreciate hospitable treatment when they visit your home, customers enjoy hospitality when they shop at a store. The result will be the same in both cases, friends or customers - they will want to return. Indeed this must be a prime aim; we must try to make customers are friends.
You must have patience. Customers are not machines that enter our store, go directly to what they want, pay for it and leave. We would not have it that way. Customers come in, browse pick up what they want. They'll ask questions; they need direction. It is not our job to see that they get in and out as quickly as possible; they must be helped to make selections. They will enjoy browsing when they know that they will receive courteous attention if they want it.
This fact underscores another duty we owe our customers. We must be willing to help. Friendly personal attention will make more friends than curt business like, impersonal responses. People enjoy being helped, and it's much more satisfying to offer them this enjoyment than to cut it short.
Finally let's consider the following statement and its importance to our stores and to you as members of our organization who have a vital interest in a strong community position.
Business goes where it is invited
and stays where it is well treated.
It is the pubic need which invites Towers into an area, since Towers has been organized to fulfill that need. It is not, however, just need that ensures Towers of a long life in one location. There are too many competitors around for it to be as easy as that.
Tower stays where it is invited because it is well treated there. And to be well-treated it is a necessary that we handle customers just as well as we would expect to be treated.
Public confidence is the key to our success. I have briefly outlined a number of ways in which we can build it. It is not difficult to determine in whose hands rests the responsibility for moulding this confidence; the responsibility is in your hands.
We are fully confident that the manner in which you execute this responsibility will completely justify the high esteem in which we hold every member of the Towers store family.
Text version of
"Towers Times" Volume 1, July 1962
Miss Daisey Lauther
Mrs. Elizabeth Pell
"full of enthusiasm..."
Mrs. Wanda Snider
"always on the job..."
Miss Mary-Ann Holz
"service and good fellowship..."
Mrs. Betty Bowles
"ever ready to assist customers..."
Mrs. June (Mom) Twynam
"little fly upon the wall..."
Mme. Yolande Benoit
"a staunch worker..."
Mrs. C. Petrachek
Mrs. Joan Harrison
"an amiable disposition.."
Mrs. Kathleen Roy
"always a happy smile.."
Mrs. Claudette Gilbert
"pert, smiling 21..."
Mrs. Claudette Gilbert
"pert, smiling 21..."
All someone had to do was yell fire at St. Catherine's recently to bring half the stores personnel on the run with fire extinguishers. Confined to the stockroom, the flames were brought under control before the fire department arrived.
The incident resulted in stricter enforcement of the no smoking rules in the interest of safety. Manager Ross Helm declared, "If you have to smoke and can't find room in the employee's lounge, why, drop into my office and I'll even give you a cigarette!"
It is reported that Mr. Helm find a difficult to close his office door with a jam of employees inside having a smoke
* * *
A Friendship Club has been formed at Towers of London with a view to sponsoring social events for employees and worthwell welfare projects in the community.
A governing committee headed by Gerry Chandler, manager of the Furniture Department, consists of six employees: three men and three women representing both day and night staff. A dance is forecast for the autumn and a Christmas party for children from a local welfare agency is anticipated.
* * *
Congratulations go out from Towers of Stony Creek to Mr. and Mrs. Eric Johnston on the birth of their daughter.
* * *
Mrs. Vera Seayk is welcome back to Towers of St. Catharines by fellow employees following the birth of a baby girl. For Shoe Department Manager Gene Lalonde of the same store, the big news is the arrival of his first child, Terry Michael.
* * *
Bert Garcia Gauthier, Snack Bar Manager, and a popular bachelor around Towers of Ste. Foy, surprised everyone was the announcement of his engagement. One of the first cashiers at Ste. Foy, Jeanine Lapensee, is leaving to be married the end of June.
Jim Morningstar of the Pet Department at St. Catharines has wedding plans for July 7. It must be catching as Wedding Bells can be heard around the lunch counter for Joanne Bergman and Hank Partinga.
* * *
Happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Ken Falk on July 4 from Towers of St. Catharines.
* * *
Betty Lansdale, former Manageress of the Snack Bar at Dixie, has recently returned to England to make her home.
Execs Are Also Human
"The more openings you take part in, the more exciting it becomes," commented Henry J. (Hank) Sukoff when asked how to feel how it felt to be introduced as the Manager of two brand new Towers stores in rapid succession - first at Stoney Creek and 11 weeks later at High Park.
"The job gets easier as you go along," he said with enthusiasm. "Each new store is the best one yet. There's always some improvement added."
A Brooklyn boy, Hank graduated from C.C.N.Y. and did a three-and-a-half-year stint with the U.S.A.F., two of which were spent in Central and South America. After ten years experience in the discount retailing field, he came to Canada in August of 1961, joining Towers five months later.
* * *
When Assistant Manager John McLaughlin of St. Catherine's was recently promoted to the position of Manager of the Stony Creek store, Towers office personnel said farewell with a comic card and a fur-lined trophy.
Department Managers presented Jack with a rocker recliner when he and his wife were entertained at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rose Helen.
* * *
Following the public announcement of information of Allied Towers Merchants Limited, Mr. and Mrs. Irving Albert entertained Towers management and concessionaires at their Bathurst Street home. About 100 guests attended the cocktail party the highlight of which was reported to be the buffet supper served by Mrs. Albert.
* * *
Towers Merchandising Division is planning a training course for department managers to commence the end of July.
Designed to create a closer working relationship between store managers and department heads, the course will include such topics as
Proper Liaison for Merchandising Requirements,
Mass Displays for the Masses,
Signs The Tell Stories,
Towers Management Team Responsibilities, and,
Prepared and presented by genial merchandising man Mel Friedman, once-a-month all-day sessions are tentatively planned and will include visual demonstrations, training films and guest speakers. Courses will be held in Toronto, Waterloo and Montreal.
Back to School
Bowning up on management techniques at the first university-programmed training seminar for discount personnel are 25 Towers manages and assistant managers from U.S. and Canadian outlets. The three-week course is held at New York University's School of Retailing. At right is Jack Graber, Vice President and General Manager of Towers Marts International, Inc., while Dick Gaynor, Personnel Director for the 25-store chain, is seated at left next to blackboard.
Time capsule, Triplets, Silver Dollars for 80 cents... highlight opening of third Toronto Towers store. Also included among the festivities were the usual tape-cutting ceremonies, Topper, free giveaways, all of which contributed toward the biggest opening in the 11-store Canadian history of Towers.
* * *
Competitor's employee first customer. Merchandise Manager Mel Friedman presents gift to Mrs. Pearl Comies, who works at Simpson's but headed over to Towers to become High Park's first shopper.
* * *
Discounted Dollars. Trig Hansos, Advertising Manager,
Ely Segal, and President Ben Rosenberg look on as
1,000 silver dollars sold for 90 cents in less than
half an hour at High Park opening.
* * *
Happy Hosts. Among the genial officials at the opening were Fred Cohen, Store Planning Director, Harry Shier of Ontario Store Fixtures, Joe Grasal, Don Jaffey, and Bill Laird, Loblaw's Assistant Manager.
* * *
The hand is quicker than the eye. High Park was the ninth Towers opening at which Topper the Clown amused small fry (and their parents) with magic tricks and crazy capers. A professional entertainer since the age of 19, Al Berthamise finds that of the many acts, children love him best as Topper who gives them flowers that wilt when smelled and ice cream cones that collapse.
* * *
"That's my dad.. and he's not crazy! He's simply spent 19 days up there to help raise $10,000 to help the Port Dalhousie Drum and Bugle Corp get to Nice, France for the International Lions Convention," claims 5-year-old Debbie, daughter of flagpole-sitter Dick Forbes, aloft on his perch in the parking lot of the St. Catherines store.
* * *
Towers top management team tie-up toronto traffic at the grand opening of 11th store. Sunny skies and the rousing music of a band set a festive mood for the greatest smash-opening yet as Towers threw open the doors of their first discount department store within the city limits of Toronto on June 14. Over 62,000 shoppers passed through the entrances in the first twelve hours to shatter existing opening-day attendance records.
* * *
A plane’s-eye view of the parking lot at Towers of High Park shows one means of transportation which brought record-smashing crowds to the grand opening on June 14th. Thousands came by TTC. By evening traffic was tied up for several blocks around the store area.
Insets show Eli Siegel, Vice President in Charge of Merchandising and Advertising, and Tony Sketches, Operations Director, who engineered the successful third Metropolitan Toronto opening, together with Fred Cohen, Store Planning Director and Towers Proxy Ben Rosenberg.
Greenfield Beats Metro
(in softball - that is!!!)
Greenfield Yankees trounced Metro Lions 15 to 7 in their first softball game of the season.
Pitching duties were handled by Ben "Lefty" Wan who pitched a great game and lasted the full 9 frames. He also collected a -run homer along with two other hits. Marla "Shorty" Zand had a bang-up day slugging out 5 hits for a .1000 average.
Doing a great catching job behind the plate was Jerry "Sparky" Beller who blasted out 4 hits for a .080 average. Coach Irving Korol got in his licks by chalking up 3 hits and assisting in the only double play of the game. Frank "Stretch" Belair wasn't just up to par on hitting but played a great game over on first base.
Metro's team was inspired by the great all around playing of Dave "The Rock" Furlatt who excelled in pitching and hit point 1000 for the day, including a 2-run homer. Yves "The Twister" Gauthier played with all his heart. He had to -- he was supposed to be the secret weapon. (What happens, Yvan, did you forget the secret?) Dick "Foul Ball" Rabin played a fine game out in the center pasture but had a rough day at the plate.
Bob "The Shoe" Goulet was also choice for all round player and the Metro team hitting .700 and doing a bang-up job on the infield.
Store managers Angus MacDougall and Roger Mabert each came up with a few well-deserved hits. MacDougall was handicapped by a large hole in his glove.
To sum it up it was a great game and provided good easy laughs for the employees of both stores.
Department Manager of the Month
Metropolitan Boulevard came up with a new angle on the Employee of the Month by selecting a Department Manager of the Month in the person of David Furlatt, 27, who heads Metro's Domestic Department.
Towers Expansion Program
A lusty expansion program will see six to eight new stores added to the Towers chain this year according to Seymour Zukerman, Assistant to the President.
An August opening is forecast for Ottawa, to be followed by a double-barreled two-store opening in Winnipeg.
The spearhead westward will reach as far as Regina. With two possible building sites are in view for the province of Quebec.
Several of the projected Towers stores will be launched next to existing Loblaw supermarkets.
Notice to Store Managers
We would like you to submit as much material as possible, and as many pictures as possible, relevant to your store happening on a local level.
Please observe these 3 rules when submitting photos:
One never look into the camera unless it is a picture submitted for the Employee of the Month) when you are setting up a picture or it will not be used.
Please try to get a warm human-interest picture that will have reader appeal for all our readers regardless of the store locale.
Work on the basis that have the more pictures you submit the more chance you will have obtaining national publicity for your local events.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Robert Gray, Editor
PS In order to keep up the morale of our male employees, we would like you to select your next Employee of the Month on the basis of how pretty she is. In other words annually, for our August issue, we will put on a national search to find the most attractive girl in the Towers chain. Her pictures must show her in a bathing suit and be submitted by August 1st.
High Park Joins Scarborough and Dixie
As Towers of High Park joined the Scarborough and Dixie stores to form af of Metropolitan Toronto area, the third store theme was charmingly carried out by a parade of triplets modeling the latest fashions at Towers.
The invocation was given by Reverend M. R. Sanderson of Emmanuel United Church, following which members of the platform party and Towers officials were introduced. Alderman Mary Temple spoke on behalf of the Corporation of the City of Toronto. After a brief address, president Ben Rosenberg cut the tape and declared open for business the eleventh link in the legenthing chain of Towers stores.
As crowds surged inside, the disparity between the number of cars on the parking lot and the number of customers being clocked in with quickly noted. Said Manager Hank Sukoff, "This is a walk-in store. Customers can get here on the TTC. They don't have to have a car or wait for their husbands to come home from work and drive them over in order to shop at Towers."
Located near to a Loblaws supermarket near the Bloor-Dundas intersection, the new store is equipped with 21 cash registers instead of the usual 13, in anticipation of a vastly increased volume of sales.
Earlier, seven sets of triplets, ranging in age from 34 years to three and a half years, assisted Mr. Rosenberg in burying a time capsule beneath the sidewalk at the main entrance to the store.
The three-foot copper cylinder contain typical 20th century items which included the Canadian Bill of Rights and photographs of the Queen current, means of transportation, men's and women's fashions, together with copies of Toronto newspapers caring stories of recent history making space flights.
New Merger Will Streamline Policy
Towers recently launched a new Venture designed to strengthen and streamline the company's operations - a venture whose results will be seen first hand, not by the public, but personnel at Towers.
In late May, a new corporation, Allied Towers Merchants Limited (ATM), was formed to consolidate the 16 companies operating 12 concessions in stores across Canada into a single unit.
Don Jaffey, Chairman of the Board of ATM, said consolidation of these concessionaires would provide increased purchasing power, and would allow for greater efficiency through integrated management and personnel for the ATM departments. Further adding to the streamlining would be central warehousing and distribution, centralized mechanical bookkeeping and inventory control.
ATM departments include: curtains and linens, children's wear, ladies wear, books, stationery, toys and sporting goods, jewellery, hardware, houseware and paint, snackbar, cosmetics and candies, cameras and photographic equipment, luggage and umbrellas, furniture and appliances, and records.
The public won't see an change in the stores, said Mr. Jaffey, "But our staff will certainly find the cooperation element is greatly increased, since the efforts of all departments will be better coordinated to the benefit of all. Individual departments will be a much better bargaining positions as part of a group because uniformity of action is facilitated."
The need for greater streamlining is becoming more and more apparent he said in view of the wide scope of Towers expansion plans.
"And, as the company expands, so do the opportunities for employees."
As well, he said, the public could be invited to participate in this new merchandising venture through the sale of securities.
The results of Towers' expansion program, he said, are forecast in estimates of selling volume throughout the chain by the end of this year.
Said Irving Beckerman, ATM President: "This is a milestone in the development of Towers in Canada. With such added strength, the ceiling on our expansion and employee advancement is unlimited."
Don Jaffey, left, ATM Board Chairman, and Towers President Ben Rosenberg, join with Irving Beckerman, President of ATM, in a concessionaire's merger designed to add financial strength to Towers operations.