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Canadian Push 11-7-14


Canada is no cakewalk for U.S. Retailers - But They're Still Opening More Stores - A must read!  The complex business environment has high tax rates and wages, smaller retail spaces and a morass of national and provincial regulations - all in a country that spans more than 3,000 miles of often-inhospitable terrain. Some retailers failed to do their homework. Discount retailer Big Lots left Canada after two years despite the escalating popularity of uber-discounters. J.Crew seriously misread the market when it tried to increase prices and was forced to backtrack. Some believe the bloom is off the maple leaf for other reasons. The Canadian economy has slowed a bit compared with a few years ago when retail sales were growing at 4-5 percent annually. "It's down to 1-2 percent and we'll probably end up with 2.5 percent growth for 2014." Another troubling sign relates to the impending retirement of many Baby Boomers, leaving a smaller share of the population to drive economic growth and sustain the tax base, according to a new study by the Conference Board. Whether this trend will impact near-term expansion by U.S. retailers is uncertain. Competition is becoming increasingly intense from Canada-based retailers like Canadian Tire, Hudson's Bay and grocery giant Loblaw, all of which are bumping up technology investments. Chico's is opening its first three stores in the Toronto area this year. Hudson's Bay, which purchased Saks Fifth Avenue in September, plans to bring seven Saks stores to Canada and is said to be considering as many as 25 Saks' Off Fifth locations in the country. Several issues will continue to drive U.S. expansion in Canada. "A lot of retailers have reached maturity in the U.S. with existing concepts and are looking for growth internationally." "Canada is not as complex a move... . It's almost seen as being domestic since we speak the same language and the markets are easy to get to."

Target's Canadian Disaster Continues - Same Quarter Sales Down 11.4%
There appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel for Target in Canada. The retail giant's catastrophic comedy of errors north of the border is continuing and getting worse. Recent Canadian press reports reveal that Target has not fixed a thing in that country and actually seems to be getting worse. Some of recent highlights of Target's bungling : ●Target Canada Co. President Mark Schindele admitted that his company's computer system is not ordering enough merchandise to keep the shelves stocked. The Toronto Globe & Mail reported that bare shelves and huge holes in inventory are still a problem at Target Canada. ●Target Canada's answer to the stocking problem is to order more merchandise than the ordering system recommends. ●Target Canada employees are not keeping accurate tallies of the amount of merchandise on the shelves. The Globe & Mail reported that Target is having trouble maintaining accurate price tags and adequately stocking its stores. ●Shoppers at Target Canada told a Globe & Mail reporter that items advertised on were not available at stores in Ontario. ●Target's operating loss in Canada grew by 11% in the first three quarters of 2014 to $415 million. That's nearly half Target Canada's total sales, which were $842 million in the same period. ●Barcodes on some of the products in Target's distribution system did not match those in Target Canada's computers, Target Canada CEO Brian Cornell admitted to The Globe & Mail. ●Merchandise was getting stuck in Target Canada's distribution system rather than reaching Target shelves, Cornell admitted. ●Target Canada's gross profit margin has fallen to 18.4%. ●Some of the items advertised in Target Canada's newspaper flyers are not on the shelves. ●Halloween merchandise in Ontario Targets was tucked away in the back of the store so customers could not find it.

Indigo Books scouting locations for new stores

Future Shop opening third small-format store on Cornwall, Ontario

Amazon's same-day delivery expands to Canada

RCMP bust importer & seize 13,000 counterfeit items in Montreal after 11 month investigation

Suspect in two armed robberies at Circle K store in custody

Organized Criminal Groups behind illegal tobacco sales in Alberta - 10% of all sales are contraband  The association, which represents more than 2,400 convenience store retailers in Alberta, wants stronger anti-contraband legislation and more enforcement. RCMP Cpl. Sharon Franks said organized crime is behind the contraband tobacco sales. Much of the illegal product comes from Ontario and Quebec, including First Nations communities. The availability of illegal tobacco is clearly a problem in Alberta," Klukas said Wednesday. "Illegal tobacco is sold without proper taxation, making its rock-bottom pricing appealing to young people.

Surrey RCMP investigating multiple gas station and Convenience store Robberies, 'These people will not stop until they're caught'  A rash of gas station and convenience-store robberies throughout Surrey - including South Surrey - since Sept. 24 is prompting police to ask for the public's help to identify suspects before the crimes can escalate into potentially violent situations. "It's only a matter of time before we're dealing with a larger crime instead of a theft," Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet warned Thursday. Paquet noted the robberies - which have struck most areas of the city - have typically taken place in the 3-6 a.m. time period and the robbers have primarily focused on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Similarity of the crimes leads police to believe the same two people are responsible for all of them - in the majority of cases, the robbers have backed a stolen Dodge Caravan into the businesses' locked front doors to break them open. 

Canadian Push 11-7-14
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