Within Canada this past year, there seems to be a never ending trend of retailers closing brick and mortar locations around the country. Due to disappointing sales, Canada has seen large retailers Target, Mexx, Smart Set and Jacob close their doors.
It would be an assumption that this trend would serve as a warning to other retailers. However, one of Canada’s oldest family owned retailers, Simons, is launching a plan to expand across Canada. Simons is a retailer based in Quebec, and is opening its ninth store within it’s home province next month. This planned expansion will being Simons to British Columbia and Ontario, while expanding within Alberta as well.
Simons is investing $200 million into a four year expansion plan, with estimations that it will boost their annual sales by more than $350 million. Randy Harris, senior retail analyst at Trendex, believes this expansion plan will make Simons a national powerhouse in the Canadian apparel market, even with retail powerhouses like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue making their way into Canada. Nordstrom is on track to replace Sears in the Eaton Centre, located in downtown Toronto.
While Simons is expanding the number of brick and mortar stores, they are keeping in mind that consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping, and offer this alternative to those who wish to shop from home. Simons’ online sales currently make up less than 10% of total sales.
It is a big move to invest in this expansion plan as many Canadian retailers have had to close their doors and as American retailers look to cross the border. But, Simons is confident in the need Canadian shoppers have to experience quality customer service in person.
We will have to wait about 5 years before learning if this expansion plan is successful, until then it will be a waiting game to see how the ever changing Canadian eCommerce landscape will evolve.