Canadian retailers offer their own
Black Friday sales even though their Thanksgiving is a month earlier.
"Anecdotally, the malls were packed," said Sally Ritchie, a
spokeswoman for the Retail Council of Canada. "Black Friday
is increasingly becoming an event here in Canada." Neither
Black Friday nor Cyber Monday have historically been much of
an event in Canada, which celebrates Thanksgiving in
October, but that seems to be changing. "If we look at where
Black Friday, Cyber Monday was in Canada last year compared
to this year, I think it's a much bigger weekend than it was
last year, so I think we do see a trend there," said Daniel
Baer, national retail industry leader at Ernst & Young.
Target Corp. is locked in a fight to prevent Zellers
employees from maintaining their union status
Target’s blueprint for Canada entails converting about 135
Zellers stores to the Target name by 2013 after letting go
all the Zellers employees and starting fresh with newly
hired staff – and no union. Currently about 15 of the
Zellers stores are unionized. But now, in a test case, the
union has applied to the B.C. Labour Relations Board to
declare Target as the "successor employer" to Zellers at an
outlet in Burnaby, B.C., and keep the employees unionized.
"It could be quite a battle," said Richard Chaykowski, a
professor at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies
in Kingston. "Any decision a government board makes would
potentially be only Round 1." Target and its discount
archrival, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have fought the United Food
and Commercial Workers for years as the union attempts to
organize the retailers' employees and improve their pay and
working conditions. So far, the retailers have managed to
keep unions out in North America, although for brief periods
the unions have succeeded in organizing some employees.
Vancouver-based counterculture magazine Adbusters has kicked
off an "Occupy Christmas" campaign targeting consumerism
over the festive season.
As protesters continue to be ousted from Occupy sites across
North America, the Canadian magazine widely credited with
starting it all has kicked off a new campaign—Occupy
Christmas. Adbusters, a non-profit alternative magazine
based in Vancouver, is now targeting the "rabid consumerism"
of the gift-giving season. "Let’s use the coming 20th annual
Buy Nothing Day to launch an all-out offensive to unseat the
corporate kings on the holiday throne," states the
publication’s website. Occupy may have been fun for some
activist but to take it to "Occupy Christmas" may be just go
to far even for that group.
The Canadian Manhattan Push
"If they can make it There" special on CBC news tells a great
story how Canadian retailers are storming Manhattan as the
U.S. is storming Canada. A Joe Fresh store just opened along
with Mackages, Vancouver's Aritiza and Lululemon. All have
chosen to set up shop in one of the world's toughest retail
Canadian government may be reducing old manufacturing
tariffs that could reduce Canadian Prices and make them more
competitive with U.S. prices.
"This government has
shown tremendous leadership in reducing tariffs on the
manufacturing sector, and we look forward to the next
logical step of reducing or eliminating tariffs in the
retail sector," said Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO
of Retail Canadian Council. "This will provide a win-win as
it will foster economic growth and have the added benefit of
providing more competitive pricing to Canadian consumers."
In his announcement Minister Flaherty acknowledged that
"some of these old-fashioned tariffs get in the way" and it
is time "to get rid of them". Brisebois noted that the
economic benefits of eliminating these manufacturing tariffs
would be multiplied were the manufacturers to pass the
savings along to retailers.
Coming in 2012:
LP Show Coverage
The Top 10