Marketing Tough – Canadian Retailers take on Competition

I have just returned from Canada and while there was delighted to see some really proactive retailing occurring in Canada. Canada retailers have identified two major threats to business and they have been around for a while:

  1. The Internet
  2. Canadians going over the border to the US to shop and avoid provincial taxes

Rather than whinge and groan and play victim, Canadian retailers have taken action. So what are they doing?

Communicate the advantages of shopping in store

I was thrilled to hear a TV advertisement mention “come on in and try and then take your purchase home today”. A simple truth, maybe not that exciting, but it is the one major advantage that instore has over online. There are many people who are the “I have to have it now” type person so it is a motivation that will work with some and not others.

If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em!

America has monster Thanksgiving “Black Friday” sales around the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s a sale to celebrate the point where retailers get back into the black. The sales are as big as Boxing Day sales in Australia. The only difference is that it occurs approximately one month before Xmas. The problem for many Canadian retailers is that many Canadians leave Canada on that weekend to shop over the border in the US. How did Canadian retailers deal with this threat? They decided to have their own “Black Friday” sales and they went all out. There were genuine savings of 30 – 50% off for three days only.

And the result? The shops were buzzing.

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