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 Target.com 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
Amazon's same-day delivery expands to Canada
RCMP bust importer & seize 13,000 counterfeit items in Montreal after 11 month
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.