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GMDC Research Forecasts the Future of Canadian Retail

February 20, 2015

Total chain sales will jump to $280 billion, driven by same store, digital growth


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 19, 2015 – Global Market Development Center (GMDC) has released a new whitepaper based on a GMDC*Connect Videocast, “Canadian Retail Outlook: The Next 18 Months and Beyond,” presented by Tim O’Connor, vice president of RetailNet Group, that explores external drivers of change predicted to significantly impact Canadian retail.

External drivers of change are typically present in five distinct areas:

  • Macro-economic
  • Societal
  • Technology
  • Industry,
  • Political.

Understanding these drivers and their implications in light of a number of recent retailer shutdowns in Canada will help retailers and suppliers organize strategies to compete and win in the intensely competitive, slow growth retail market.

O’Connor’s forecast reveals that total chain sales in Canada will jump from $239 billion in 2013 to $280 billion by 2017. Of that growth, 55 percent will be driven by same store sales and 12 percent will be generated from digital growth – which will grow four times its share rate.

In keeping up with rising digital trends, Canada is now seeing the emergence of the click-and-collect model. Overwaitea’s Save on Foods in Vancouver and Loblaws in Ontario are two retailers that have incorporated click-and-collect and are hoping to expand the initiative quickly throughout Canada. Walmart will surely be close behind.


“Digital economics can be challenging as retailers are taking on tasks that were historically done by the consumer and absorbing newly added costs into their model often with low to no compensating fees,” said O’Connor. “Consumers will continue to demand these services making optimizing digital retail economics a key focus area for both pure play retailers and store based operators.”

 “Canadian Retail Outlook: The Next 18 Months and Beyond,” videocast and whitepaper provide insights into the Canadian shopper profiles, industry size and structure, and winning segments of the future that both retailers and suppliers looking to either continue or begin business in Canada will significantly benefit from.

While the full version of this whitepaper is available only to GMDC members, an executive summary preview to the study can be found at GMDC members can view the full version of this whitepaper in their myGMDC Content Library.

O’Connor’s videocast is available for both members and nonmembers in the GMDC*Connect Videocast Archive:

If you are not a GMDC member but are interested in knowing more about the association and joining, please visit or contact Keith Wypyszynski at [email protected] or 719.576.4260.


About RetailNet Group, LLC

RetailNetGroup, LLC (RNG) is the leading retail intelligence resource helping retailers and suppliers plan tomorrow’s strategies today. As a company, RNG helps its clients stay 48-60 months ahead of what will happen in retail. The world is changing rapidly – and those changes are having a major impact on growth, earnings, shopper dynamics and the overall future direction of retail. RNG’s team are experts in activating leading-edge thinking about current and future states of retail markets and retailers, the growth strategies retailers will pursue, and the capabilities and competencies that enable retailers and suppliers to lead. With RNG you can spot, explain, and commercialize the important trends globally. RNG provides research through its website, as well as direct insight with analyst support and onsite educational programs.

About GMDC*Connect

GMDC*Connect is a LIVE video Telepresence tool allowing members to connect virtually within their own company, outside vendors, or generate face-to-face conference follow-up. Through GMDC*Connect, members can also collaborate and gain new industry insights while sharing best practices. The Videocast function allows key-note speakers to broadcast education to many participants and provides a live Q&A forum to enhance the interactive learning experience.

About GMDC

Global Market Development Center (GMDC) is the premier global trade association dedicated to serving General Merchandise and Health Beauty Wellness retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. GMDC promotes critical connectivity to grow and expand member companies by uniting members through business building events and opportunities and enriching their thinking through education and training; consumer and business insights; and information resources.