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Canadian Push 5-16-14

Sears Canada may be doomed but it could still be with us for years - with $513.8M in cash & no long-term debt  Sears Canada’s demise seems inevitable after news Wednesday that its biggest shareholder may pull its stake out of the ailing department store chain. But with no single retailer seen as an obvious suitor to acquire the entire operation, it’s likely Sears Canada will continue to languish in this market for some time, even if Sears Holdings Corp. sells its 51% ownership in the business. "The writing has been on the wall for Sears for several years,” said Jim Smerdon, director of retail and strategic planning at Colliers International in Vancouver. He sees four distinct groups of buyers who could work together to forge a deal, including major landlords and pension funds who are seeking out Sears Canada’s shopping mall locations; private equity or retail turnaround groups such as Sun Capital, Hilco and Gordon Brothers; domestic retailers such as Hudson’s Bay who might wanting to shore up market share; and U.S. department stores such as Macy’s or Kohl’s. (Source

Canada declared International Retail 'Hot Spot'; by Women's Wear Daily
Canada is an international retail 'hot spot', according to the world's foremost fashion-industry trade publication. Many international retailers are contemplating Canadian expansions, following Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue's lead. Home-grown retailers will need to innovate to compete, or risk facing demise, like bankrupt retailer Boutique Jacob. Women's Wear Daily referred to it as the 'department store effect': following Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue's announcements that they would open in Canada, other international retailers followed. Mary Mowbray, Senior Vice President of the retail group at Colliers International in Toronto, said the following: "The Canadian consumer weathered the downturn better. They have more money to spend and are more comfortable spending it. Traditionally there have been fewer players in the mid- and higher tiers in Canada, and that’s left an opening for more brands to enter here." (Source

It's not just Sears—6 mistakes US stores make coming to Canada
Although there is no exact formula behind each individual retailer's struggles, experts offered a list of six common mistakes U.S. chains make when setting up operations in Canada. 1. They assume that Canadian consumers are the same as U.S. consumers. Many American retailers are under the assumption that what worked well for them in America will translate over to Canada. That simply isn't true, Sozzi said. 2. They should consider setting up online operations before investing in an entire store network. For retailers questioning whether their brand will gain a following in a new country, one thing to consider is building out their online shopping functionalities first. 3.They set prices too high. U.S. retailers often times price their products at a premium in Canada to compensate for their investment in the country, and to account for its steeper operating costs, including a higher minimum wage and cross-border duties. 4. They take on too much too quickly. Opening 124 stores in one year was too big of an undertaking for Target, which didn't yet understand the intricacies of the Canadian market. 5. They do not fill a hole in the market. One of Target's biggest issues was that Wal-Mart, Costco and domestic chain Giant Tiger have a huge hold over Canada's discount shoppers. 6. They overlook domestic competitors. There are a number of popular retailers in Canada that already have a stronghold on shoppers' loyalty. (Source

Canada Outperforms United States in Fighting Debit Card Processing Scams
According to a report published last week by The Vancouver Sun, Canadian debit card fraud has reached record lows due to recent initiatives to improve POS and card technology. The report, which has compiled data collected over the last year, indicates that debit card fraud has dropped 62 percent. That marks a decrease in credit and debit card scams to $7.3 million - a considerable improvement from 2012's $18.2 million in losses. According to the Interac Association, the drastic drop in debit card fraud losses is due principally to a dramatic decrease in "skimming," or the stealing of information from the traditional black magnetic strips on the back of most credit cards. Chip and PIN technologies are much more difficult to skim and Payment Processors in Canada. (Source

Chico's to open first three stores in Canada

Retail Fast Facts: April 2014

Total monthly retail sales changed by 4.0% over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 3.6 per cent over the comparable month last year. Read more (Source

Canadian Push 5-16-14
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