The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and four border community
Chambers of Commerce ask Canada's Federal Government to
eliminate import tariffs on finished goods to level playing
field for Canadian Retailers.
"The government's decision to increase duty exemptions on
goods bought in the U.S. is salt in the wounds of retailers
in border communities," said Diane J. Brisebois, RCC's
President and CEO. Tariffs on many finished goods -
including clothing, hockey equipment and skates, sporting
equipment and footwear and linens - are paid by the retailer
to the Canadian government. Historically, these tariffs were
put in place to protect Canadian manufacturers. However,
very few of these products are manufactured in Canada
anymore. The price discrepancies between Canada and the U.S.
are significant with some estimates being anywhere from 10%
to as high as 20% higher in Canada. And under pressure from
the Obama administration to open up free trade and increase
exemptions for Canadian citizens shopping across the border
they increased the amount they can buy without having to
declare it and pay tax. This angered many Canadian
businesses as you can see above.
Apple is a "Mall Phenomenon" not a tech phenomenon and it
generated $5,000 of sales per square foot in 2011. 12 times
greater than the average mall retailer.
"Apple is perhaps the most successful retailer ever,"
according to Green Street Advisors. Apple has changed the
retail game, showing other tech players how to gain greater
control and exposure of their brand rather than counting on
others – particularly big-box retailers – to sell their
merchandise like any other commodity.
The huge success of the Apple store is driving high tech
retailers to open more stores & kiosks in Malls across
Canada - including Samsung who is opening their first store
in Canada. Grappling with a
hyper-competitive wireless landscape, tech players are
rushing into low-tech malls as they look for ways to stand
out in a sector of increasingly look-alike products.
Bricks-and-mortar stores are attractive to tech companies
because they have a track record of generating higher
conversion rates – converting browsers into buyers – than
websites, said Mr. Ryski, author of Conversion: The Last
Great Retail Metric. While tech retailers have a 20- to
25-per-cent conversion rate, that of top online shops such
as Amazon.com is closer to 10 to 15 per cent, Mr. Ryski
estimated. In a physical store, "they have a better
opportunity to actually engage with the customer and make
the sale. What Apple has done is remind everybody how
important bricks-and-mortar stores are."
Target is on the hunt for 3,000 people in British Columbia
alone to open 18 stores in 2013.
"This is a big task. We're looking for great people with
great talent," said Tiffany Mon-roe, vice-president of human
resources, who was in Vancouver to begin the search for
store managers. Some are predicting that Target will have
more of an impact on Sears Canada because of its
8 million consumers used their smart device to help them
shop in the last month
survey of 1,000 Canadians found that 37% use their mobile
device to search for a specific retailer, while 30% search
for a product price while shopping. Those searches are
typically conducted with a mobile browser instead of an app,
suggesting a strong need for retailers to have a
mobile-optimized website. An interesting finding is that men
are leading the way in searching for products prior to
making a purchase and in the use of QR codes. While women
used it more to take pictures or videos of a product while
shopping and sending it to someone for an opinion. It's
becoming a "gateway" tool and the Canadian consumer is
actually using it more than their U.S. counterparts.
"Because something has worked in this U.S, it does not
predict success here, particularly in Quebec and other
diverse regions of Canada" and having a strong Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) program like Target has in the
U.S. may increase a retailers success.
Businesses that embrace CSR show through their actions that
they value their people and communities. The benefits of CSR
to retailers are many — from enhanced reputation to loyal
consumers to a more committed workforce. There is growing
evidence that companies with CSR strategies outperform their
counterparts. As more U.S. retailers enter Canada, I believe
that CSR will become more important for both consumers and
retailers, compelling U.S. and Canadian retailers to develop
distinct Canadian-focused CSR strategies.
Canada's largest specialty apparel retailer Reitman's is
facing strong headwinds and lots of new competition
With almost 1,000 stores and seven banners that include
Penningtons, Addition Elle, Thyme Maternity, and their name
sake, their customer - the 20- to 50-year-old lower-middle
to upper-middle income consumer is being courted now by an
increasing number of new retailers. From Target, Limited
Brands, Marshall's, H&M, Zara, and even Wal-Mart this
Montreal-based company has its work cut out for itself.
Canadian Tire isn't standing still for the U.S. invasion
with "aggressive" expansion plans of its newly acquired FGL
planning to aggressively expand its most popular banners
over the next five years while closing more than 100
underperforming stores. The changes affect 115 corporate
stores under such banners as Sport Mart, Athletes World,
Nevada Bob’s Golf, although 20 of those locations will be
converted to a Sport Chek or Atmosphere store by early next
year. And they're opening over a 100 new Sport Chek and
Atmosphere stores over the next five years. In total,
Canadian Tire has more than 1,700 retail and gasoline
outlets from coast-to-coast employing some 58,000 people. (Source
Coming in 2012:
LP Show Coverage
The Top 10