CANEX builds its online presence to reach more members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) community while maintaining long-lasting relationships with its partners.

By Stephanie Crets 

Retail outlets, convenience and grocery stores, kiosks and more allow the Canadian Forces Exchange System (CANEX) to provide goods and services directly to Canadian military members, their families and the CAF community. CANEX is the retail arm of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), an organization that strives to enhance morale and welfare of the military community, and in the case of CANEX, has done so for almost 50 years. Plus, when the CAF Community shops at CANEX or, proceeds from sales are returned to CFMWS in support of local grants to Bases/Wings for (their) morale and welfare programs and activities. Not only does CANEX give back to the military community monetarily, but CANEX also provides employment opportunities for spouses and children of the CAF members. CANEX’s priority is maintaining a strong focus on serving the unique needs of its members and their families.

With 39 retail locations, operational efficiency is one of CANEX’s four core strategies. Being right-sized and relevant to local CAF communities and providing an optimal mix of physical stores and online infrastructure continues to be its focus. This could be amalgamating store locations, adding services or concessions or opening new CANEX facilities. As an example, CANEX is building a CANEX Supermart that will encompass retail, grocery, a SISIP Financial office and other concessions in a 40,000-square-foot mall on Garrison Petawawa in Petawawa, Ontario.


Wockenfuss Candies is a staple of Baltimore as one of the oldest and finest candy makers in the area. This year, Wockenfuss celebrates 100 years of business and five generations of candy making. 

Herman Charles Wockenfuss came to America from Prussia, Germany, in 1887. After arriving, he learned how to make jelly candy and candy canes and opened the Wockenfuss Candy Company in 1915. He successfully ran the business until his son, Herman Lee Wockenfuss, returned from World War II, and he and his wife took over in 1945. 


The team at Truenorth is aggressively investing in facilities, technology and partnerships to ensure its c-store and fuel operations remain strong.

By Eric Slack

Founded in 1999, Truenorth is the legacy of a number of successful companies owned and operated by The Lyden Company, which is now known as True North Holdings. The Lyden family has been guiding the business for 96 years, with the third and fourth generations of the family now leading the organization’s growth and development. 

“The Lyden Company dates back to 1919, and Truenorth came about when we entered into a joint venture with Shell in 1999,” President Mark Lyden says. “We now have a presence in most of Ohio as well as in parts of Michigan and the Chicagoland area.”


The Source has been in business for more than 40 years under several names – including the Radio Shack Canada and Circuit City banners – but found new life in 2009, when it was purchased by telecommunications giant Bell Canada. The retailer operates 550 stores across the country in a “small-box” format with roughly 2,000 square feet per location. More than 70 percent of the nation’s population lives within about three miles of a Source store, the company says.

Since the acquisition by Bell, the retailer has opened new locations, renovated existing stores and revamped the brands it carries. However, it continues to face challenges when it comes to consumer perception combined with an increasingly soft retail marketplace. 


Footwear giant Shoe Carnival is finding success by increasing its rate of growth through new types of retail locations and store concepts. The company has long favored storefronts in strip malls, but it realized it needed to gain a foothold in interior shopping malls to reach its expansion targets. “In order to grow successfully, we need to take advantage of the best retail space available regardless of whether it is in an enclosed mall or a traditional power center,” Vice President of Store Planning and Development Brad Gubser says.

Shoe Carnival has cultivated a loyal customer base over the past 35 years, Gubser notes. Shoe Carnival is a destination shop and as such it prefers to have easy access into its stores. With customer convenience in mind, the company began considering mall locations with an exterior entrance so customers could go straight from the parking lot into the store.


When Noah Glanville returned in 2003 from a tour of duty in Iraq, he recalls the greeting he and his unit received from a group of veterans who were hosting a barbecue to welcome the returning troops home. He specifically remembers the smell of charcoal briquets wafting in the breeze as the food was prepared.

“Older veterans greeted us with a barbecue, and I remember the smell of Kingsford, hot dogs and hamburgers,” Glanville says. “It’s a good, familiar smell, and I knew that I was finally home.”

Glanville was a Navy corpsman attached to a Marine Corp unit. He later spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of an American security services company. Time spent overseas took its toll. Upon returning, Glanville suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

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