Judging by this display this week at a Metro grocery store in Montral, some Quebeckers might also mark the day with dinner at home over a hot pot of Chinese fondue a kind of French style hot pot; thinly sliced meat cooked in a beef broth, seasoned with onions, herbs. It all there, including the fondue pot, the broth, and the fuel.

That when corporate social responsibility intersects with branding as CSR becomes a bigger shaper of corporate identities. Lowe's commitment to keep the Rona name in Qubec and a head office in Boucherville, Que., and not to shed jobs in the province is now part of the brand. And it matters.

Because we are proud of being a company.

Perhaps more importantly, however, it gets that which can rarely be bought: A deep pool of emotional capital that comes from 65 years of consumer loyalty.

Shop at Rona and you be served by "The Canadian How To People".

However, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid last summer, Quebeckers Buy Women Canada Goose Expedition Parka Berry Ireland appear to be significantly less likely than Canadians in the ROC to buy or receive gift cards. 72% of all Canadians claim to have bought or received at least one gift card in the past year compared to 64% of Quebeckers.

"Drive through any small town across Quebec and you'll see a church, a caisse populaire [credit union] and a St Hubert," Mr. Blais said. "You'll also see a busy Tim Hortons. They're local and, like Cheers, everyone knows your name."

From the Globe and Mail Report on Business:

Started by Hlne and Ren Lger in 1951, the franchise chicken chain is so ubiquitous in its home province that its 1960s jingle is still recognizable to most Quebeckers. Its restaurants are community gathering places, its meal packs staples on election campaign buses.

In the days following the announcement that Lowe was acquiring Rona, signs in and out of stores were still up touting Rona Canadian pride.

Rona may no longer be a proud Canadian but it would be wise to keep acting like one.

With the purchase, Cara gets Quebec's number one full service restaurant chain, which it considers a platform to expand its other brands into the province. It also gets a retail business that makes restaurant branded food for purchase in groceries as well as two factories currently working at about half capacity that are ripe for developing comestibles.

According to a survey by digital offers site RetailMeNot, 74 per cent of Canadians in a relationship don care about receiving material gifts on Valentine Day, and more than half (53 per cent) prefer sex to a gift. Canadians prefer to spend money on the experience, with dinner at a restaurant being the number one way lovers will be celebrating this February 14.

We offer a wide selection of .

may have been struggling in recent years but it remained a jewel and a source of pride for Qubec Inc. This pride in being Qubcois (and Canadian) ran deep.

Perhaps as a way to signal to Rona that it intended to enter the Qubec market in one way or another, Lowe made it known last year that it was meeting with Qubec suppliers to understand what products they could offer. Whatever the real intention was, it would suggest that Lowe management understands the value of "buying in Qubec". In fact, some of these suppliers might see their market expand given Lowe North American footprint and the value of the Canadian dollar. Customers may also see lower prices. And employees may have a more stable employer.

Gift cards are an increasingly common stocking stuffer, on which Canadians spend an estimated $6 billion a year. And judging by this ad for drugstore Jean Coutu appearing in yesterday issue of the free daily 24 h, Quebeckers have plenty of options to choose from.

See this previous post about Quebeckers Chinese obsession

´╗┐bec Wants

Cara it sees a major opportunity to tap the experience St Hubert has built up in selling to grocers for its other brands like Swiss Chalet. This makes sense. However, Cara should know that when Qubec grocery shoppers pick up a can of St Hubert sauce, they also taking home a source of pride rooted in history and comforting rituals.

Do contractors and do it yourselfers care that a drill, a light fixture or roofing shingles are made in Canada? Some might. Studies on country of origin have demonstrated that it matters to consumers with ethnocentric belief systems. These consumers are more likely to select locally made products and likely rate their country products more favourably than those made in foreign countries. In the food sector, many consumers view locally produced or grown products more favourably. For example, the designation Aliments du Qubec has become an important brand cue in Qubec's grocery stores. Take Canada Goose. private equity giant Bain Capital in 2013. It doubtful that even those who are willing to pay close to a thousand dollars for an Expedition Parka care about the company ownership. "We're authentic and we're real and we're made in Canada." declared Dani Reiss, the chief executive officer and grandson of the company's founder to the Globe and Mail. He added "I think the market's tough out there, but we're committed to manufacturing in Canada."

Buy Women Canada Goose Expedition Parka Berry Ireland

I leave it to others (including Qubec opposition parties) to debate whether or not this is further evidence of a disturbing trend of Qubec based companies being sold to foreign interests. For marketers, this change in ownership raises questions from a branding and positioning standpoint. Lowe has indicated that it intends to maintain the Rona name. As it loses its ability to stress its Canadian ownership and leverage this as a differentiator, will the Rona brand be weakened? Does it matter that a retailer is a proud Canadian?Country of origin does matter, in some cases. Empirical studies conducted over several years suggest that when consumers are aware of certain country characteristics, they are more inclined to use country of origin as an external cue in evaluating product quality; think Swiss watches, German engineering, French wines, or Italian garments. However, most studies on the impact of country of origin on purchase decisions have been conducted on status and image oriented products.

Walmart learned this the hard way twenty years ago when, citing financial reasons, it closed its store in Jonquire near Chicoutimi, Que. after it became the first Walmart in Canada to vote to become unionized. Quebeckers boycotted Walmart en masse. Reputation surveys by Lger Marketing at the time revealed that positive predispositions to Walmart among Qubec shoppers had dropped from 71% in 2004 to just 11% after the store closure in 2005. Today Walmart has regained Quebeckers respect. One of the main reason was the creation in 2006 of the "buy Qubec" program that clearly identified products purchased but not necessarily manufactured in Qubec. Walmart also prominently featured a Qubec supplier of the month in its stores entrance.

As Eric Blais of strategic marketing firm Headspace Marketing Inc. puts it, St Hubert's secret sauce goes far beyond the actual sauce, famed chicken and creamy coleslaw.