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Survey: Canada is land of opportunity


New York -- Survey results released Tuesday by WSL/Strategic Retail found that Canada represents a strong expansion opportunity for U.S. retailers.

The “How Canada Shops” research study revealed that 64% of Canadians can still afford to shop beyond the basics – versus half of Americans, who say they cannot.

“As U.S. companies struggle with sales and profit growth in a stalled global economy, and as the Internet continues to steal share of shoppers from the stores, the opportunity to expand into Canada has become very appealing,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL/Strategic Retail. “While each of the major retail categories exist, Costco is the only club; Walmart faces off against a weak Zellers (at least until Target arrives in 2013); and The Bay and Sears are the only mid-tier department stores. The added bonus is that few Canadians shop Amazon.”

However, U.S. retailers will still need to tailor strategies to the Canadian consumer. “While there is significant opportunity, we have also found important differences in the way Canadians think and shop, vs. Americans, which will require U.S. retailers to consider new strategies and approaches when entering this market,” said Candace Corlett, president of WSL/Strategic Retail.

She said that Canadians have been found to be less passionate about shopping than Americans and their online activities are less.

Other survey highlights include:

  • 55% of Canadian women regularly use coupons to reduce costs, whereas 68% of American women utilize coupons when shopping;

  • 50% of Canadian women search the Internet for promotions versus 61% of American women shoppers;

  • 57% of Canadian women pick up circulars in store versus 71% of American women;

  • 50% of Canadian women say they shop online, as opposed to 75% of American women;

  • 31% of Canadian women shoppers visit retailer and manufacturer websites versus 50% of American women shoppers; and

  • Only 26% of Canadians are able to download apps onto their mobile phones, compared with nearly half of Americans who have that ability.

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