Canadian specialty retailer Showcase in rapid U.S. expansion

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Showcase
Showcase operates 109 stores in Canada and 41 in the United States. (CNW Group/Showcase)

Showcase has marked a major milestone.

The retailer, which bills itself as “home of the hottest trends,” opened is 150th store located, in Huntington Station, N.Y. During the last six months, Showcase has completed the largest and fastest single expansion in its 29-year history, opening 31 stores across 13 states in the Northeast region of the United States.

The privately owned company, which has 109 stores in Canada and 41 in the U.S., also opened a 147,000-sq.-ft. U.S. national distribution center in Batavia, N.Y.

2023 Focus on Category Expansion, AI and Same-Day Delivery

Founded in Edmonton, Alberta in 1994, Showcase is a retailer, product developer and marketer, with its offerings reflecting new and hard-to-find consumer trends in health, beauty, home, toys, novelty, candy and food. Stores, which are located in North American malls and range in size from 1,200 to 1,500 sq. ft., are designed as fun and interactive “demo-friendly” environments.

Customers are encouraged to "try it before you buy it" with the majority of products open and on display. Other signature elements of the Showcase shopping experience include time-sensitive promotions, flash discounts and product demos. The retailer also offers weekly live online shopping events.

"With our aggressive 2022 expansion program completed, quadrupling our footprint in the US, Showcase has big plans in 2023," said Samir Kulkarni, CEO, Showcase. "We will now focus our attention on growing our customer base in new markets, revolutionizing the business model using AI, enhancing our product selection with new categories, and introducing same-day delivery service."

AI

Showcase said it has been using proprietary trendspotting technology, powered by algorithms and most recently, AI, to understand and identify trending products quickly. On average, each trend goes from concept to shelf in 53 days, with some of the top 10 items launching in as little as 16 days, the company said.

“I see AI as the next big shift for Showcase with broad application across all departments and roles,” added Kulkarni. “AI will supercharge each individual’s capability allowing us to be even more agile, more creative and more thorough from trend identification and product development, to marketing and customer experience.”

New Products And Category Expansion

Showcase continues to build its customer base with a focus on moms with kids and Gen Z, expanding existing categories and adding new products to the lineup. The novelty candy category is relatively new for Showcase and the company's recent launch of freeze-dried candy has proven to be explosive, the retailer said. (According to recent research from the National Confectioners Association, non-chocolate candy is outpacing all other segments. In 2022, non-chocolate novelty candy sales increased 13.7% and is expected to reach $20 billion in the total market by 2027.)

Same-Day Delivery

Showcase provides same-day delivery in Canada via DoorDash. It will roll out the service in the U.S. later this year.

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