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US Retailers Plotting Invasion of Canada

February 03, 2011

I've just returned recently from the Whistler ICSC Conference and I was astounded to see the increase in US and international retailers, attending the conference. Target, Nordstroms, J Crew, Pinkberry, PF Changs, Dick's Sporting Goods, Marshalls to name only a few.

US and International retailers continue to expand to Canada and the reasons why are plentiful:

a) Perhaps the most significant factor or influence in this retail invasion is that US and international retailers perform higher sales and profits from their Canadian retail divisions than in the US or elsewhere;
b) Canada's economy is growing and remains among the world's strongest. Not to brag, but ten years ago (or even two for that matter), who have thought that the Canadian dollar would be at par or valued higher than it's Canadian counterpart.;
c) Consumer spending continues to increase on a monthly basis. Strong banks, who continue to lend monies, low unemployment and high consumer confidence in the economy continue to pay strong dividends for the retail sector;
d) Less competition - US and International are pleasantly surprised by the lack of competition in their respective categories\market segments. The open landscape of the Canadian retail market provide these new to market retailers with greater opportunities to succeed.
e) US and international retailers have higher margins and spend more on marketing and promotions and thus possess important advantages over their Canadian competitors
f) Brand conscious Canadians embrace new foreign retailers as if they had just scored the game winning goal in the gold medal hockey game at the Olympics (sorry - could not help myself). Which US landlord or retailers could possibly understand the lines that await retailers like Anthropologie, H&M, Victoria Secret, True Religion...etc, each time they open a store in Canada.;
g) Many US and international chains have already saturated or completed larger market development in their home country and the remaining smaller market\profits openings are not enticing when compared to the high profit, large market opportunities that can be found in such cities as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary

Further to the above, I've listed a few of the articles that I trust will be of interest to you:

1 - US Retailers Plotting Invasion of Canada - Winnipeg Free Press
2 - Target Sets Canada for First Expansion Outside U.S - Business Week
3 - Tanger, RioCan to Launch Upscale Venture - The Globe and Mail

This is compelling evidence as to why your company should look to Canada as a growth vehicle and the ideal place to open stores.

Here's where Think Retail comes into the picture.

Our real estate brokerage firm specializes in Canadian retail tenant representation. We work with retailers (our partners) securing real estate in all Canadian markets. In the last year we developed successful Canadian market entry strategies for several US and international retailers and we would like to assist you in the same fashion. We have the resources and national expertise that will enable you to quickly secure those top tier locations and to make educated decisions about the Canadian marketplace.

I look forward to talking with you soon.