Canadian Retailer - November/December 2010 - (Page 38)

| section title here Great White North for a stable economy, knowledgeable consumers and growth By: John Schofield rom his headquarters in the American heartland of Willoughby, Ohio, just outside Cleveland, Gus Downing can see the legions of U.S. retailers amassing for their march on Canada. In characteristically enthusiastic fashion, the retail consultant paints an imposing picture of the next wave of border-vaulting brands heading north. Within the next few years, he estimates, U.S. retailers may open as many as 400 new stores in Canada. Some will be new arrivals like Target Corp., he says, while others will be more recent arrivals like the upscale men’s clothier Brooks Brothers or Limited Brands’ glamorous Victoria’s Secret banner. Faced with stalled growth in their recession-ridden homeland, says Downing, many U.S. retailers are looking to Canada’s relatively stronger economy for growth opportunities. “The United States is overstored and saturated,” he says. “Since February, American retailers have been turning their focus, and it’s aimed at Canada.” American retailers look to the F robust retail environment – often as a first step in international expansion. Canadian shoppers, with their brand awareness broadened by cross-border shopping and the Internet, are eager to embrace new retailers from around the world, and experts say most companies will thrive if they adjust to Canada’s distinct retail market. For Canadian retailers, the influx means new challenges, but also opportunities to improve their offering and service. “Companies that expand globally are leaders,” says Elizabeth Evans, Director of the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University. “That means that Canadian retailers will have to step up their operations to compete – and many already have.” Who’s on the radar? Many of America’s best known retail brands are actively preparing for their Canadian debut. In October, a spokeswoman for Minnesota-based discount giant Target Corp. confirmed long-running rumours that the company will expand into Canada. Target, which has 1,743 U.S. stores, is expected to open about 200 stores in Canada over a ten-year period, beginning in the Greater Toronto Area in 2014 or 2015. Some observers say the impending arrival of Target could motivate one of its major U.S. rivals, Wisconsin-based Kohl’s Corp., to jump first in a bid to scoop up attractive locations. The value-oriented, family friendly department store chain operates 1,067 outlets in 49 states, and has already reportedly scouted real-estate in Canada. The department store market could get even more crowded with the expected arrival next spring of the first Canadian Marshalls stores, owned by Massa- “Companies that expand globally are leaders. That means that Canadian retailers will have to step up their operations to compete – and many already have.” — Elizabeth Evans The migration of U.S. and global retailers into Canada is nothing new, but observers say the trend could accelerate in the coming years as American chains flock to the country’s stronger economy and 38 | canadian retailer | november/december 2010 | “ “

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - November/December 2010

Canadian Retailer - November/december 2010
Table of Contents
Publisher’s Desk
Shop Talk
Store Design
Retail Leader Perspectives
Rcc: Year in Review
Member Profile
Global Sourcing
Rumour Mill
Retail q&a
Grassroots Marketing
Advertisers’ Index
You Asked Us

Canadian Retailer - November/December 2010