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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 04:56 PM

How Canadian Retailers Beat Wal-Mart for Market Share

It's X-mas so lots of folks are thinking about retail, and lots of nerds (like me!) are thinking about the economic activity retailers foster and its political ramifications.

In particular, I was reading an interesting bit today about how Canadian retailers are driving productivity in the Canadian economy as a whole (outperforming several other sectors), and in particular how Shoppers, Canadian Tire etc. have eclipsed Wal-Mart in the Canadian market place against the odds.

The key has been long-term investment, the stability of the Candian economy through the global credit crunch and in particular the ability of these firms to leverage the strong Canadian dollar to "create better efficiencies" of scale etc. In short, Canadian retailers are providing a model that it would be good to see manufacturing and even the public sector follow more closely going forward.

This Christmas season, how about supporting some of the Canadian retail operations that are keeping Canada competitive (and actually beating out their American counterparts)?

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Canadian Retailers Beat Wal-Mart for Market Share (Original post)
harpslay Dec 2012 OP
BlueJazz Dec 2012 #1
u4ic Dec 2012 #2
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #3
u4ic Dec 2012 #4
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #5
u4ic Dec 2012 #6
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #7
u4ic Dec 2012 #8

Response to harpslay (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 05:14 PM

1. If it were up to me, the USA were throw the walmart gang out of the country...stores and all.

The populace could take care of the former walfart employees until regular stores got back on their feet.
...plus..it would be cheaper for us in the long run.

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Response to harpslay (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:45 PM

2. I checked out Wal Mart

in different cities I live/d, just to compare.

In rare cases, there is a good difference in price. Most of the time, you'll find perhaps .10 difference...sometimes even the same price on items as other stores. Not like the unbelievably cheap prices in US Walmarts.

Canadian Tire can offer some amazing deals...I've got things for 50-75% off (not a clearance, just a weekly sale). Shoppers has a loyalty card that if you know how to use it, you can be handsomely rewarded. (spend $50 3x @20x the points, then cash in when they add on the extra $$ when you redeem...I've gotten $125 free products from that promotion. I think they've upped the points needed to redeem a year or so ago, but not outrageously).

I think Canadians are more aware of the issues that WalMart brings up, and there usually are other shopping options, unlike some rural towns/cities in the US.

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Response to u4ic (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:51 AM

3. I agree that Canadians are more aware

of Walmart's issues.

I think, however, that Walmart's prices are really high for the crap they sell. I haven't been to the states in awhile, but last time I was there Walmart and Target were DIRT cheap compared to anything Canadian. When Walmart first came, they were very cheap, but as they've opened up some of their 'supercentres' prices have crept up. Most people I know that are on a budget (which, surprisingly, is hard to find where I live) don't shop at Walmart - they shop at No Frills (Loblaw's out east I think) and stock up on the loss leaders. Walmart rarely has a better price than No Frills. I read somewhere - a few years ago now - that Canadians are amongst the least brand loyal customers in the world. We're all about the prices. So it only makes sense that a higher priced Walmart doesn't do as good here.

I also agree that Canadian tire and Shopper's have really good weekly deals on certain things just to draw you in - I think it's a really good business model. And, like you said, with Shopper's you get points - I've already been able to have a free shopping trip ($70 or so) because of points and I have only been collecting for 2 years, and I don't shop at Shopper's a ton - maybe once a month or once every 2 months.

As for other options - I think that used to be true...but with Zellers closing up I think it will become more of an issue. I lived in a small rural city that had Walmart and Zellers, and I often shopped more at Zellers - they just had much better selection of the things I needed at the time. Now that Zellers is gone, and there's nothing to replace it. It'll be interesting to see how Zellers closing in most places will affect Walmart's domination in small markets.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:13 PM

4. You make a good point about Zellers

and now, Target is taking over most of their closed stores.

I should have pointed out I was pricing mostly food, but a bit of health/beauty and bath/bed, just out of curiousity. There is a marginal difference in price, if any, with other major Canadian retailers; and yes, I agree with your statement that their stuff is crappy for the price, especially clothing. However - it was back in 96 or 97, when the first WalMart opened in Edmonton - I bought a pair of sandals, and didn't they last 10 yrs! They were my favourite sandals and I wore them most of the summer (yes, laugh, not much of summer there ) I can't imagine anything there now lasting even one summer, never mind 10.

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Response to u4ic (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:12 PM

5. Not laughing here

Guess where I live.

I think Walmart was in Edmonton before that...I remember they closed down 'Woolco' in Heritage mall and opened Walmart up and I went there with a friend that I haven't talked to since about 1994 and it had been open awhile by then. But yeah, their stuff used to be better quality, I remember a LOT of 'made in Canada' tags on everything. Strangely enough, Walmart's stuff is still better quality than, say, Old Navy. Or other 'discount' stores - living up north I had the wonderful experience of buying from Saan's or Field's and not finding out things were 'seconds' until you got them home and realized the seams were crooked, or you were missing a zipper or the coat that was down to your toddler's knees had sleeves that were up to her elbows. But up north, in the small towns, there wasn't much of a choice...when I moved to a place with a Walmart, it was like a step up...

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 03:19 AM

6. I'm so sorry...



I escaped a year ago and have never been happier.

Northern? As in Northern Alberta? Yep, been there, done that, too. I remember Field's and Saan...just as you described. Zellers was the IT store when I lived in a small city up there, well before WalMart arrived.

I thought it was the old Zellers store that WalMart took over at Heritage when Z moved to their Southpark location...wasn't there a Woodward's at Heritage as well? (stupid since there was also one at Southgate)...and then when Woodward's went belly up, that basically spelled the end of that mall. I may not be remembering any of it correctly. I've conveniently forgot most of that city now....

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Response to u4ic (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:38 AM

7. It's ok

at least I'm in a big city now. 'Up north' meant Northwestern Alberta and Northeastern BC. Spent about 12 years up there, various places. Too small for this city girl (grew up near Edmonton). So I'm happy now.

Okay - because I couldn't remember the details and it was driving me nuts, I looked Heritage mall up on deadmalls.com (who knew there was such a site? lol) and it was Eaton's, Sears and Woolco. When Woodward's went bankrupt and pulled out of Southgate, Eaton's moved to Southgate and nothing replaced it in Heritage. Walmart had bought out Woolco in '93-'94, then pulled out 2-3 years later. Then Heritage cratered. Everything you didn't know about Heritage mall that you really didn't care about in the first place, lol. I wonder why they even built it with Southgate just down the road...anyway....

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:59 AM

8. Lol thanks for that

I don't remember Woolco well, with the exception of their logo. I didn't realize WalMart had been in Canada that long; then again, I was living in northern Alberta for a couple of years when I bought the sandals in 97, and was out of the loop.

One thing I do know is that Eaton's was there after the Southgate one opened, as I worked there briefly. I remember sending people to the Heritage store if we didn't have something.

Now you can sleep well tonight.

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