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Canadian Push 1-30-15

Holt Renfrew closes three locations as it embarks on $300M expansion - getting ready for Sakes Fifth Avenue's 'Canadian Push'  Over the weekend, Holt Renfrew closed three of its smaller locations. Holt Renfrew will now focus on operating larger stores in a handful of Canadian cities, as it embarks on a $300 million expansion which will see its square footage increased by approximately 40%. Holt Renfrew is left with eight stores in five Canadian cities. Analysts say that Holt's focus on its larger and more productive locations is partly a response to Saks Fifth Avenue's intention to open as many as seven Canadian stores over the next several years, as well Nordstrom's intention to open up to 10 Canadian locations. Upscale menswear retailer Harry Rosen also continues to substantially upgrade its fleet of stores, including several replacement locations.

The Run On Target Stores Locations Begins - LOWE'S CANADA is the most likely candidate to snap up some of Target's Winnipeg locations  (Lowe's) are really the ones who are best positioned to take the biggest chunk (of Target stores)," Doucette said. A Lowe's Canada spokeswoman confirmed in an interview the 37-store chain plans to open 25 new stores over the next three years. But she wouldn't say if any of them are likely to be in Manitoba.  Rona has said it wants to open some more stores this year in Canada as well. A Rona spokesman was also being coy Monday about whether the company is interested in any Target sites here.

Tim Hortons says layoffs affected 15% of employees - 350 employees at its headquarters and regional offices  The company has a total of 2,300 employees at its headquarters, regional offices and distribution centers across the country.

The Lessens from Target Canada's Demise: (It'll be studied for decades)
An overly aggressive approach - There was no testing and no learning-just the presumption that Target would get it right the first time. Adjusting to Canadian tastes - Canadian consumers are different than U.S. consumers. Supply chain and systems - poor supply chain planning and systems that did not fully integrate with U.S. operations. Competitive conditions - Target's main competitors in Canada, Loblaw and Wal-Mart, were aggressive in upgrading their operations, store bases and competitive positioning in advance of Target's entry. After studying successes and failures across the world, we were able to create an approach dealing with four key aspects of expansion success: Have a clear reason for being there. Really listen to the customer and have leadership flexibility. Partner (acquire/joint venture) with local leadership and talent; respect local culture. Execute on great retail: have a well-defined real estate strategy, marketing, systems and infrastructure.

Target Canada severance package is only severance for some
Thousands of Target Canada employees will get paid for the next 16 weeks as the Minneapolis-based retailer pulls out of the country. Some of them will work for their wages, while others won't. Target Corp. announced earlier this month it would set up a $70 million trust to pay at least 16 weeks of wages and benefits for its 17,600 employees in Canada. At the time, it sounded like a severance package for people about to lose their jobs, though Target never explicitly called it that. But for some workers, the money will simply be used to keep them on the payroll as they help Target liquidate merchandise and close up shop in Canada, according to a report by Huffington Post Canada. Target hasn't said how many of the 17,600 employees will keep working during the wind-down of operations. "If your last day is this Friday and you work through this Friday, you will continue to be compensated up through that 16 week period. If you are needed for the full 16 weeks, then we'll provide the compensation for the full 16 weeks as well," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told HuffPo. Target still hasn't released details on the related Twin Cities and U.S. job cuts that are coming, but workers in Canada may find jobs with Sears (while fitness chains are considering taking over the abandoned stores).

ORC on the rise in Calgary - New 'Retail C.O.P.' initiative helps retailers, law enforcement share information  Organized retail crime has become a multi-million dollar industry in Calgary with a huge impact on consumers and local business owners. "Calgary, just by our economic strengths, that is a draw for the criminal element itself . . . Retail in Calgary because we have lots of high-end stores, we're very busy, we've got a lot of retailers that employ part-time and unseasoned staff just because of the fact it's hard to find employment, we are a soft target. And it becomes known," said Const. Lara Sampson, of the Calgary Police Service's Crime Prevention Unit and part of the Retail Industry Crime Initiative. "In Calgary, we have seen a significant increase even over the last year in terms of large volumes of theft and the price dollar going up incrementally each year on loss." Sampson said police are trying to target these criminals by having continual charges laid on them by coordinating intelligence to keep track of a criminal's activity in this area. The police also have an initiative called Retail C.O.P., a 24/7 website platform, where law enforcement, loss prevention, security, and retailers can upload information to Sampson and Critchley where intelligence is shared in order to target retail criminals.

Future Shop closing three stores in Canada - Regina, Gloucester, Kingston

Chapters closing it's Vancouver flagship store

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo to open 2 flagship shops in Toronto

Sears Canada makes acting CEO permanent

Walmart Canada aggressively expanding Supercentres - Opening 11 by end of this month alone

Crime in Canada falls to lowest point since the '60s

B.C. shoplifter faces gun charges after weapons discovered in bag

Halifax illegal tobacco seizure leads to 11 stores / 12 people charged

Langley RCMP investigating a thief who used debit card to steal $10,000

Three arrested for $57,000 in multiple Tire Thefts in Winnipeg and Manitoba
Retail Fast Facts: January 2015 

● Total monthly retail sales changed by 2.4 per cent over the comparable month last year. 
● Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 3.4 per cent over the comparable month last year.

Canadian Push 1-30-15
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