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Canadian Push 6-1-12


2012 Archives

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. (Source

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. (Source

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 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." (Source

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 middle-income customers. (Source

8 million consumers used their smart device to help them shop in the last month SRG’s 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. (Source

"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. (Source

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. (Source

Canadian Tire isn't standing still for the U.S. invasion with "aggressive" expansion plans of its newly acquired FGL Sports banners. They're 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

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