Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009 - (Page 8)

S H O P TA L K Manitoba sees steady growth, retail sales While Ontario and Quebec grapple with manufacturing job losses and the Western provinces deal with the impact of falling commodity prices, other parts of the country are — so far, at least — weathering the recession in fairly good form. For instance, a recent Manpower survey found employers in Charlottetown, PEI, were the most optimistic about future hiring plans, and retail spending in the Atlantic region is outpacing the rest of the country. But if any retailer is looking for a province in which to expand, these days Manitoba is looking like a good bet. The province has the second-lowest employment rate in the country (behind only Saskatchewan) and experienced only a half a percentage point drop in retail sales in December (compared to a national average of five per cent across Canada). And the Conference Board of Canada recently named Manitoba one of only four provinces to see economic growth this year, thanks to major hydro developments and a backlog of orders in the aerospace and transit industries. Retailers are taking note: a $400-million retail development in Winnipeg, anchored by the province’s first-ever IKEA store (slated to open in 2012 or 2013), is a strong indicator of retail’s faith in the province’s economy, as are the recent arrivals in the city of a 19,000 sq. ft. Golf Town and a third Home Outfitters location. “Manitobans are still going to be shopping, so retailers look at the province in times like this as an area where they can grow their business,” said Lanny McInnes, RCC’s director of government relations and membership services for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, adding that Manitoba retailers are expected to trail only those in Saskatchewan in terms of sales performance in 2009. T R E N D WAT C H Geek chic, Euro avant garde lead eyewear trends The biggest trend in eyewear this year? Think geek. To coincide with the March 31 grand opening of its first store in the Greater Toronto Area, Langley, B.C.based IRIS The Visual Group has offered up its picks for the top trends in eyewear in 2009: • vibrant colours, geometric patterns and edgy detailing that allow customers to express their unique personalities and complement their fashionable wardrobe. • GEEK CHIC: bold, plastic full frames — mostly in black but more often in tortoiseshell or two-toned frames — that reinvent the image of intelligence. • SPORT-SPECIFIC: fashion meets function for the sports enthusiast, with the flexibility to adjust at the bridge and temple for the perfect fit. • AVIATOR: a subtle vintage throwback that dares the wearer to think big with large lenses that showcase the eyes behind the frames. EUROPEAN AVANT GARDE: S T U DY Value trumps price among shoppers While these may be busy days for businesses that can offer low prices on the merchandise they carry, it’s worth noting that price alone is not bringing shoppers through the door. In fact, according to the 2009 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, consumers in these recessionary times are relying more on their perception of value when deciding which brands to stay loyal to during the recession. Brand Keys, a U.S.-based market research firm, polled 26,000 consumers of 441 brands in 63 categories earlier this year. Among the brands that received the highest marks for meeting or exceeding consumer expectations, “there is a price-value formula consumers use to calculate brand differences and to decide which brands to buy,” said Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff. “Shopper consciousness has shifted from just trying to ferret out deals to looking for brands that provide value.” What does this mean for retailers? Consider this: although it commands $150 for a pair of shoes, a brand like Nike still maintains consumer loyalty because the shoes are perceived as providing quality for the money spent. (Nike was voted No. 1 in the athletic footwear segment based on the four sales drivers in the category — durability, comfort, C O N T I N U E D O N 10 Supply Chain Problems? An inefficient supply chain can turn small problems into large problems like lost sales and poor customer service. We can help. We’re SCI Logistics, helping retailers improve customer service and reduce operating costs since 1977. Our retail solutions move your product into stores or directly to your customers while providing the cost and service advantages that your business needs to compete in today’s tough environment. To find out more, call Louise Villeneuve, VP Business Development at 1-866-773-7735. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT WAREHOUSING & FULFILLMENT REVERSE LOGISTICS E-COMMERCE T R A N S P O R TAT I O N M A N A G E M E N T K I T T I N G & A S S E M B LY 8 | C A N A D I A N R E TA I L E R | M AY/J U N E 2 0 0 9 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009

Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009
Publisher's Desk
Shop Talk
Come Together
Where Green Never Goes Out of Style
Practising What They Preach
When Times are Tough
How the West was Wowed
In Pursuit of a Well-Dressed West
Sporting a Bold New Look
Bigger and Better
Back to the Future
Revved for Success
The Questions Retailers Ask
Signs of the Times
Advertisers' Index
You Asked Us

Canadian Retailer - May/June 2009