New Market Research Report: Mixed Retailers in Canada

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Jun 20 2014

With its move into Canada anticipated for several years leading up to 2013, US mass merchandiser Target Corp had by far the largest impact on the category in 2013 as retailers had reworked their growth strategies, marketing plans, product mix and operational structure in preparation for this event. With more than 120 stores opened in 2013 in former Zellers locations, which the company acquired in 2011, Target's presence was inevitably noticed. However, as with other new entrants into the Canadian retail scene in recent years, such as J Crew, the sole virtue of being new and supposedly desirable to Canadians is not in itself a recipe for success. Following this trend, Target's impact was far weaker than expected both for its retail competitors as well as consumers. A Forum Research survey conducted in August 2013 showed that only 27% of Canadians who had shopped at Target were satisfied with their experience compared to 62% for warehouse club Costco. The main issue for consumers appears to be that the retailer has failed to offer the same low prices that consumers expected in their Canadian locations. Moreover, with so many Canadians living close to the US, and shopping cross-border regularly, it remains easier for Canadians to visit Target locations in the US for cheaper goods than to visit Canadian stores. Nevertheless, Target is expected to be a major contender if it is able to reform some of its practices and offer Canadians a better pricing scheme.

Full Report Details at

Competitive Landscape

Warehouse club giant, Costco, continued to lead the sales in the mixed retailers category in 2013, with total value sales of C$9.2 billion, or more than 22% of the total category. While the retailer, which sells everything from wedding rings to industrial-sized mayonnaise and computers, only had modest sales growth of just over 2%, its stores remain a major attraction for Canadian shoppers seeking low prices and bulk items. The company plans to continue its expansion in the coming years, adding as many as 25 new locations across the country. Costco is known for keeping things simple, and its strategy appears to be working well. The retailer never advertises, relying instead on word-of-mouth marketing from its clients. Costco operates on a membership model and 90% of its clients in Canada are Costco members.

Industry Prospects

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