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Canadian Push 5-30-14

Canada’s quirks make expansion there tricky, expert says - a few have failed already  David Marcotte, Kantar Retail’s senior vice president of retail insights Americas, talks about the challenges retailers face in Canada. Many U.S. retailers have moved into Canada by acquiring existing brands, as DSW has done, but often those brands were damaged, as was the case for Liquidation World when Big Lots Inc. came in, and Zellers Inc. when Target Corp. acquired it. “If it was a weak brand to start, it’s going to be a struggle to change that perception,” he said. There are financial challenges too – prices are generally higher in Canada due to tariffs, labor expenses and other factors. While L Brands Inc. has been a success bringing its Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works brands to Canada, it has struggled with La Senza, the Canada-born brand it bought in 2007. Marcotte said that’s an example of the sometimes undefinable quirks another country presents. For better or worse, they all have their own Canadian identity,” he said. Marcotte said La Senza, despite being an upscale brand, used to display products on tables in cardboard boxes. It looked cheap and sloppy, but it had its appeal. “Canadians like to dig through bins,” he said. “I can’t tell you why, but I can just tell you it is.” DSW also will be working around malls and shopping centers, so location may not be an issue. That is something Big Lots ran afoul of in its short-lived entry into the country via Liquidation World. “You had to go and find them,” Marcotte said. “You didn’t see them in any major trade areas.” There are some benefits to business north of the border. E-commerce in Canada is much weaker than it is in the U.S. “You don’t compete online there like you do here,” Marcotte said. “It’s almost impossible to be cheaper online there.” Editors Note: Some U.S. retailers have had a hard go of it with their 'Canadian Push' and new entrants are finding the consumers well entrenched in their habits and buying trends. Some have even said about the Zellers take over that 'You just can't put lipstick on a Zellers,' as their locations for the most part are in old over developed areas that don't have the same curb appeal the new developments have. And quite frankly with their empty shelves and higher prices when they opened a lot of Canadians just walked away. When they expected the prices to be more in line with prices they saw in Target U.S. stores. To some it was almost an insult. It's going to be a hard task to fix that perception and get them back. (Source

Bitcoin’s slow crawl to acceptance in Canadian retail
Customers may see it as complex, risky and not worth the risk, but retailers see an upside. Some view Bitcoin as a way to liberate consumers and merchants alike from the so-called tyranny of transaction fees and central banks. It’s a hit in tech-savvy circles, where it can be used to pay for an increasing number of of goods and services online. And its use has been spreading to brick and mortar merchants too – adventurous independent coffee shops, restaurants and electronics stores world-round, to name a few. (Source

Canadian Tire - not wasting time - Opens 'Showroom' store in Toronto - An Omni-store  Canadian Tire’s experimental new showroom is taking cues from online shopping in an effort to create a more cohesive consumer experience across the retailer’s channels. Opened on Saturday, the 16,000-square-foot showroom at the retailer’s Leaside location in Toronto features 35 digital touch displays the size of large-screen TVs, a pickup area for online orders and bulk purchases made in store, and merchandise organized to match the way it’s displayed online. The new “living lab,” focusing mostly on seasonal products like barbecues and patio furniture, was built to serve as a “test and learn” experience for the retailer before it rolls out the new display techniques to its 490 stores across the country. (Source

Tap-and Go credit cards drive 45% increase in fraud in Victoria - Police want cards scrapped  POLICE in Victoria want tap-and-go credit cards scrapped because of a huge surge in fraud, but card issuers say they can’t see a problem. The rate of deception offences has jumped 45per cent in Victoria, which police say is the main reason for a 5per cent rise in the total crime rate. Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan said tap-and-go credit cards were being stolen and used for a number of small transactions, often before the owner was aware they had been robbed. Tap-and-go, or contactless, credit cards allow purchases of less than $100 to be made without a signature or PIN. (Source

Target’s new Canadian chief: ‘You have to be priced right’

Target Canada loses $211 million in last quarter - wider than last years $205 million loss

Eyewear maker Luxottica closes Winnipeg plant; 200 jobs reported lost

Calgary woman put needles in grocery's bakery and dairy products, now asking for $8M in lawsuit for "loss of family honour" 

Masked culprit admits role in slick jewelry store robberies

Calgary Gun Store the target of Smash and Grab thieves; store hit twice in last 30 days 

Robber who busted into stores with young kids in tow must deal with drug addiction 

Video released of Yonge-Eglinton jewelry store robbery in Toronto 

Canadian Push 5-30-14
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