Canadian Retailer - Holiday 2016 - 15
Kruh: We can't really begin a discussion about the retail industry without
starting with the economy. According to the latest retail sales numbers,
there was a drop of 0.1 per cent in July (month over month from June).
And, according to the Conference Board of Canada, "Slow growth is
the new normal for Canada." The Canadian economy is still in a state of
contraction, with currency volatility and unemployment. Combine this
with high levels of household debt, flat incomes and inflationary pressures, and it appears that the outlook for the short term continues to be
rather challenging for the retail industry. How has the current state of the
economy impacted your business, and what are your expectations and
projections for the next few months leading into 2017?
Jones: It's a very tenuous time within the retail industry at the moment. But,
it's definitely our belief that in times of challenges, there are also lots of opportunities to grow and become better as a business. If you can solidify your
business during tough times, you can make sure you're on good footing when
things improve. It's a time when you can work on all of the different relationships you have with your various stakeholders. It's a time to strengthen your
relationships with supplier partners. Because if you have a positive working
relationship with your suppliers, they're going to be very supportive of you
and will help you maximize the value you deliver to your customer. Nobody
enjoys the tough times in retail. But, it's a time of great opportunity to solidify your brand, and even grow.
Slow economic growth
Growth is forecast to 1.4%
by 2020. The slower rate of
potential growth relative to
history is due in large part to
population aging, which will
limit growth in the work force
to around 0.3% per year.
THE LOSS PREVENTION ISSUE | CANADIAN RETAILER