“It’s a statement of what your brand is, who it stands for and who it seeks to appeal to,” said Wong, who is with the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.“While it may generate traffic for you, whether or not that traffic generates profitability in the short, and more importantly, long term is a different story. If you’re in a business that needs a promotion to stay in business, you’re already on a slippery slope.”Wong said the publicity stunt would mostly profit businesses that appeal to the biggest demographic of Pokémon GO players or have a link to the game — for example, stores that sell cellphone accessories or comic books.There may be a potential to grow business in the short term, but he doesn’t see that enduring.“Eventually the novelty will wear off. There will always be diehards but it’s no different than the Trivial Pursuit craze,” he said.“If you are the right kind of business, get in as soon as you can when the fad has the greatest duration of effect, because if you wait too long, the fad will be over.”In Toronto, Peter Coulter set up a chalkboard sign Monday outside his optical store featuring a promotion offering passersby a free glasses cleaning if they can capture a Pokémon creature inside.Although he says he hasn’t seen any direct sales from the sign, he stands behind it.“It’s quite the phenomenon,” said the manager of Optical Thirty 8. “The sign was just something catchy to encourage people to come in and use their phones so we can show them some of our services and at the same time, maybe they’ll buy some new glasses.”The Canadian Press TORONTO — The Pokémon GO sign directing people to the front door of Rock Candy Boutique in Halifax has only been up for a week, but Jeff Powers says he is already seeing it pay off.“Downtown is alive in a way that I haven’t seen in a long, long time,” said Powers, a manager at the store, which sells various rock music T-shirts, hoodies, hats and other paraphernalia.“There is just a flood from everybody, from young kids to older adults, and you can tell they’re playing this game.”That would be Pokémon GO, which officially launched in Canada on Sunday. The wildly popular video game sends players on a quest to find superimposed animated characters on a map-like interface using the camera on their smartphones. It is currently the most downloaded app in the Apple app store.Nintendo’s market cap doubles to US$42 billion as Pokemon GO craze goes globalPokémon GO , the global phenomenon that has people hunting outside for monsters, explainedPowers said Tuesday the sign has brought people into the store who wouldn’t normally shop there but hear it’s a good place to play the augmented reality video game.“This has just blown up bigger than anybody has expected,” he said, adding that the various Pokémon merchandise the store carries have also been flying off the shelves.“It leads people to travel down streets they normally wouldn’t. It’s bringing a lot of foot traffic down to the side streets and a lot of people are coming in and buying things because they were just in the area.”Some Canadian businesses have been jumping on the craze by actively encouraging potential customers to use their shops as PokéStops or Pokémon gyms — locations to play the game.But marketing professor Ken Wong cautioned that although it may seem like a no-brainer for businesses to capitalize on Pokémon GO’s popularity, it can also backfire.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
A TOTAL OF 77 former property players in debt to the National Asset Management Agency have been declared bankrupt since the toxic loans agency was set up.Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that the vast majority of the debtors that have gone down the bankruptcy route have done so in Britain and Northern Ireland, where 63 cases have been processed.Two have been made bankrupt in the United States, with the remaining 12 going through the process in Ireland.Just 44 debtors have managed to exit the process, all in Britain and Northern Ireland.In a reply to Wicklow-East Carlow Independent TD Stephen Donnelly, Minister Noonan said that he is not currently aware of any debtors that have exited bankruptcy in Ireland or the US.In a review of Nama’s operations by the Department of Finance published earlier this week, the Government flagged ‘debtor fatigue’ as a risk to Nama achieving its objectives.“After a number of years working with Nama, debtors are seeking certainty regarding recourse and their ultimate exit from Nama.” Nama said that it is looking at ways to combat ‘debtor fatigue’, which it says could limit the amount it is ultimately able to recover from tranches of loans it has taken command of.In response to a separate parliamentary question from Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath, Noonan said that the bad bank has granted rate reductions to debtors and receivers with an annual value of €19 million.Read: Pathway to ‘Dublin’s Canary Wharf’: Nama’s €3 billion property play>Read: Nama is selling a €100 million portfolio of business parks> The longer the debtor resolution process extends, the more a debtor may feel that insolvency or bankruptcy may be a viable alternative to end their relationship with Nama more quickly.