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Canada: A New Frontier for U.S. Retailers

The Canadian retail market is on the edge of a major change. U.S. retailers are driving a steady retail boom in Canada as they are lured in by the untapped potential in emerging markets, higher retail productivity rates and an underserved consumer base with an affinity for American brands.

Suburban areas like Saskatoon offer the opportunity of expansion in real estate as they are growing rapidly – more than 57 million square feet of leasable retail space has been added since 2007.

Another main driver of U.S. retailers’ interest in expanding north is the fact that the majority of the Canadian population, 90%, is within 100 miles of the U.S. border, and frequently cross-border shop at the brick and mortar stores located in border cities such as Detroit and Cleveland.

The U.S. retailers that can sustain stores in the Canadian market will get a more consistent share of the Canadian consumer’s wallet by moving closer to an already captive customer base since the rules of convenience and gravity still apply.

However, success in the Canadian market ultimately requires a deep understanding of consumers and a solid real estate and marketing strategy.

Retailers cannot have the mentality that if they haphazardly expand into Canada they will be successful and that their brand will be received. There has to be a lot of evaluation of who your competitors are in this new territory, where they are located, whether they are similar in concept and whether they are being embraced by consumers.

That is why the brands who have been successful and will be successful ask themselves “who are my established competitors north of the border and how do I out-position them?” That is a hard first step to make, but it is an important one that Buxton helps guide our clients on.

Through our analytic models, which are deployed in SCOUT, we provide the solutions that answer a wide variety of questions including:

  • Who is my customer in Canada?
  • Where do I expand in Canada?
  • What is my national potential in Canada and what is my entire North American potential?
  • What is the difference between my online customer and my brick and mortar customer and how do those two worlds converge in Canada?

By arming our clients with that type of information and analytics, we are helping them tap into the tremendous opportunity that the Canadian market has for restaurants and retailers who want to expand in the right way.

So the question is… are you prepared for Canadian expansion?

To learn more about how Buxton can help your expansion into the Canadian market, download our report "On The Edge: A Retail Boom In Canada."

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