Target’s well-known reputation for style and design might be getting the best of it in Canada. Rather than drawing customers into stores, shoppers may perceive prices to be higher.
“We know there is a gap in guest awareness of how low our prices really are,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We’re deploying multiple tactics. Our efforts will drive greater awareness.”
Chains such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Canadian Tire and Loblaws No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore offer price-matching guarantees against competitors, while Drug Mart and Loblaws full-line stores don’t. Target’s prices in Canada were higher than Wal-Mart’s, according to a price study by Kurt Salmon & Associates, which said pricing is a sensitive issue for Canadian consumers. KSA said some shoppers were surprised that Target’s new stores weren’t on par with the retailer’s pricing in the U.S.
“There’s certainly an interest in fashion and an awareness of fashion in Canada,” said Wendy Liebmann, ceo of WSL Strategic Retail, which recently completed a study, “How Canada Shops.” “The Bay and midtier department stores have upped their offer in anticipation of Target’s arrival. While Canada doesn’t have as many [retail] options as we do in the U.S., they have some good food options, like Loblaw. There may not be as many stores or retailers, but there’s Costco and Wal-Mart.” RELATED STORY: Target Net Slips; Revises Guidance Down >>
No one expects Wal-Mart to take the competition lying down. Wal-Mart said it will spend 450 million Canadian dollars ($430 million at current exchange) on growing its operations in Canada, a year after spending nearly $750 million to open 46 stores. The retailer, which offers fresh food in about half of its locations, plans to make fresh food available in all stores. Target has been aggressive in this area with PFresh in the U.S. In Canada, the merchandising is similar.
Liebmann said foreign retailers often underestimate the Canadian market. “The complexity of Canada is going to be more challenging than originally anticipated,” she said. “There’s a cultural thing that just makes it different.”
The Canadian retail scene will get more competitive. Safeway last week pulled out of Canada, selling its 223 stores to Sobeys, which will be a formidable competitor, experts said. Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Victoria’s Secret and Chico’s are looking to enter Canada, and Nordstrom is launching there in 2014.
One retail executive who’s not eager to open stores in Canada is Terry J. Lundgren. The chairman, president and ceo of Macy’s said in June, “We’ve looked at Canada longer than anybody. We’ve been looking for 15 years and many opportunities came that we passed up. There’s certainly growth happening in the market. There’s going to be an onslaught of retailers fighting it out for market share. My point of view is, I think it’s done. There’s going to be a big battle going on there for next 10 to 12 years.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye