October 16, 2013

North Of The Border

Today we want to take you to Canada, which has become an often talked about neighboring country especially within the fashion industry. With many US companies looking to expand over the last couple of months, retail growth just north of the border is on everyone's radar.

photo via Nordstrom

At the lead of the pack is Nordstrom who in less than a year will introduce it's first store in Calgary. Following that, the Seattle-based department store expects to open four more stores in Ottawa, Vancouver, and two in Toronto throughout 2016 with hopes to eventually expand their lower priced sister store Rack as well. However, it's not all smooth sailing for the super chain who may see some competition arise as Holt Renfrew plans to launch an off-price high-end apparel shop called hr2 to compete with the steadfast Nordstrom.

photo via Ottawa Citizen

Others like Land's End, White House Black Market and Chico's have also recently ventured across the Canadian border. Many of these stores are taking a different angle and focusing market expansion on their online access versus advancing brick and mortar operations. With J.C. Penney in a rut, Canadian native Joe Fresh has just debuted online shopping as has Macy's and Bloomingdale's who both now ship to the north as of the past year.

photo via Yahoo Finance

On the other end of things, the Canadian parent of Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay Co. just made a major acquisition by snatching up Saks Inc. According to CEO Richard Baker, the goal is to introduce the luxury of Saks into Canada and open seven Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 25 Off Fifth outlets and launch an e-commerce platform targeted at Canadians. Between Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue, the conglomerate will now be able to offer customers a range of quality products and distinct shopping experiences at a range of price points from moderate to luxury.

photo via Elle Canada

You'd be more than surprised about some of the Canadian born and bread who are currently power players on the international catwalk. Designers Erdem Moralioglu of Erdem and Dean and Dan from Dsquared2 are all natives who grew up in Montreal and Toronto accordingly.

photo via Financial Post

Despite the market shift, there are some retailers still slow to the game. Which stores are on Canadians' wish lists? From Trader Joe's to Uniqlo to DSW and Madewell, these are the brands consumers are demanding the most, so what are they waiting for?

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