Now well and truly into the thick of the new year, retailers operating in every city and community across the country continue to move forward with a focus on the consumer and a willingness to innovate in order to meet their tastes and desires. However, to do this most accurately and efficiently, organizations need to be aware of the trends and forcing functions that drive consumer behaviour and gain a keen understanding of the reasons they shop with their favourite brands, while also remaining abreast of market shifts and operational challenges. With this in mind, Retail Insider the magazine has developed a special issue of the publication that highlights some of these operational factors and consumer purchasing influences, along with ways by which retailers might capitalize on some of the related opportunities and enhance their businesses.
With help from some of the industry’s brightest and most insightful analysts and observers – including Bruce Winder of Bruce Winder Retail, J.C. Williams’ Lisa Hutcheson, and Radicle Loyalty’s Lia Grimberg – we capture a comprehensive and holistic perspective concerning the current state of the Canadian retail industry and the prompts that are resulting in the most significant impacts for those operating across the country. From the consumers’ continued penchant for convenience and increasingly fragile sense of loyalty, to pervading uncertain financial and economic conditions and the impacts of an ever-digitized world around us, our industry experts share their views on the evolution of the industry.
The role of data
In addition, we sit down with Michelle Grant, Director of Strategy and Insights, Retail and Consumer Goods at Salesforce, to talk about some of the most significant technology-inspired influences and the important role that meaningful data plays in helping to identify shifts within consumer behaviour and market conditions. Whether referring to the introduction of artificial intelligence-assisted devices and applications or the explorative potential posed by augmented reality, technology and data are paving the way toward an entirely new retail world that Grant says will shape the future of the retail shopping experience.
New retail entrants
Craig Patterson, Retail Insider Founder, provides his annual roundup of the brands that entered Canada over the course of the past 12 months. The comprehensive nature with which the retail guru approaches this article, which has become a resource that’s hotly anticipated by industry professionals and onlookers alike each year, results in as complete a list of new international brands operating in Canada as you’re likely going to find. And, lending his keen insights, Patterson also provides his prognostications concerning the impact of these entrants on the rest of the industry.
A brand of its own
When it comes to trends, one brand that has largely walked to its own cantor is IKEA. The Swedish-based home furnishings giant recently named Selwyn Crittendon as the company’s new CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer for Canada. And Retail Insider the magazine had the opportunity to chat with him about the brand’s current focus, its vision of the future, and the ways it continues to enhance its experience, making it even more accessible to more Canadians across the country.
And, as always, we also feature columns provided by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and George Minakakis, respectively, helping to keep our fingers on the pulse of the Canadian retail scene and eyes on the trends that are set to bear the greatest influence on the industry.
Watch for this engaging content, and more, within the next issue of Retail Insider the magazine, available now.