When customers just aren’t in the mood to spend, there’s little retailers can do to convince them otherwise. However, just because consumers aren’t spreading their purchases across the entire retail industry doesn’t mean that there aren’t some bright spots out there.
According to a report from Trendex North America and released to the CBC, Canada’s retail clothing market is going to experience an expected decline in growth at least until 2018. In fact, that year might see just 1 percent sales growth — a far cry from the almost 4 percent retailers have had the pleasure to enjoy over the past two years. Moreover, Wendy Evans, a retail consultant at Trendex, explained that a weakening Canadian dollar may force some merchants to raise prices in an effort to save what little profit margins they have left.
“I don’t think this is going to be a banner year,” Evans told the CBC.
However, not every retail segment needs to brace for regression. In fact, the luxury retail sector is showing signs of promising growth in the Great White North. Not only is Nordstrom opening three new stores in the Greater Toronto Area by 2017, but Saks Fifth Avenue will be making its Canadian debut in the same city with two new locations opening in February. According to Evans, this could be a windfall for Canadian commerce. Instead of flying down to fashion hubs in the U.S. or overseas, glamorous Canadian consumers can do all their luxury shopping in their home country.
Even though luxury may have better retail prospects than other segments, that still doesn’t guarantee designer brands and measure of success if they can’t meet and exceed consumer expectations. As Evans told the Toronto Star, shoppers don’t just want what they want – they want shopping experiences even they can’t define.
“You have to have something different,” Evans said. “You have to have a point of view.”