Case Study

How Kitchen Stuff Plus Found Unexpected Joy in Communications

Zipline Sales Director Jennifer Jaspar was shopping at Kitchen Stuff Plus one day when she noticed that employees were walking the store with clipboards and pens. Recognizing the need for a more modern way to accomplish in-store tasks, Jennifer came home and drafted an email to Samantha Smeaton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Kitchen Stuff Plus Inc. She told her that she loved shopping in the store, noticed the clipboards, and would love to tell her more about Zipline if she was open to it.

Although Samantha wasn’t looking for a communication and task management solution, she was intrigued. As she learned more about Zipline and its deep roots in retail, she was impressed. She says, “Zipline felt like a great fit for us from the start. After talking to Jennifer and seeing the product we realized how much more effectively we could be communicating with our store teams. Zipline’s philosophy around communication really resonated with me and was very aligned with our company culture and values."

At the time, Kitchen Stuff Plus was using email, Basecamp, text messaging apps, and phone calls to get important information out to the fleet. But even with all these channels, there was no way of knowing if everyone would get the information they needed to be successful. As a result, HQ would blanket all channels and hope and pray that the message was received. Samantha was excited to have a single source of truth with Zipline and a streamlined way to communicate with stores.

One silver lining of the pandemic for Kitchen Stuff Plus is that with stores closed, the retailer had time to invest in developing its communication strategy and launching Zipline. Operations Manager Renata Baron was responsible for the rollout. Fortuitously, Zipline’s Summer camp, a two-day customer meetup, was taking place as Renata was beginning to develop her plans. She says, “Being able to listen to Zipline customers talk about how they are using Zipline really opened my eyes to the possibilities. I learned a lot of best practices and am so thankful for the opportunity to be part of this community.”

One of the biggest changes for Kitchen Stuff Plus is how requests are communicated to the fleet. Before, it was totally task-oriented. Today, because Zipline pairs tasks with communication, it’s engaging and fun. The fleet feels more connected to the brand because they get the ‘why’ with the ‘what’. In other words, they understand why they’re being asked to do certain things and what the impact of their work will be. Eryn Curran, who manages a lot of the communication explains, “With Zipline, I’m able to express myself better. I can have fun with the communication, which is more on-brand. Our messages have gone from dry and bland to friendly and approachable.”

With each region impacted differently by Covid-19 regulations, Renata was excited about finally being able to target the right information to the right store and be sure that the communication was read and actioned. With health and safety compliance at the top of Kitchen Stuff Plus’s priority list, the retailer has leveraged Zipline’s assessments and surveys, which allow the brand to manage its required active screening before employees come to work. With Zipline, the retailer not only ensures that employees are healthy enough to come to work each day, but have documented proof in case records are needed one day.

With a named account manager and pink bubble support, Kitchen Stuff Plus feels incredible support from Zipline. Samantha says, “Everyone that I meet from Zipline is top-notch, supportive, and solutions-driven. We are an innovative and nimble company and we are so thankful to be working with a like-minded vendor that helps us push the limits of technology and inspires us to think about communication in a way that serves our employees while driving better business results.”

About Kitchen Stuff Plus:

Kitchen Stuff Plus is a leading Canadian retailer in housewares and home decor. Our concept is simple - buy direct and pass the savings onto our customers. We’re obsessed with finding modern, unique solutions that truly help make everyday life easier and better.

With our incredible savings, superior selection and exceptional service, we’ve been voted one of the GTA’s best places to shop again and again. We are very proud of the fact that most of our awards have been honoring our great staff and customer service. In return, we’re proud to have loyal, enthusiastic customers who keep coming back and we love welcoming new people to our in-store and online experience.

About Zipline

Today, only 29% of direction sent from HQ to stores is executed correctly. Zipline is the operations platform for brick-and-mortar retailers and the only solution on the market that combines store communications and task management to drive flawless store execution.

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