Canada’s Changing Retail Environment, Part 1 – How Retail is Changing

Welcome to the first part, of our four part series on Canada's Changing Retail Environment. We will be exploring the current trends in marketing and development for retail and how these changes are affecting Canada and Manitoba.

I had the pleasure of speaking recently at the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s Annual Conference. My topic was the changing retail environment and I wanted to share how companies in the retail sector are looking at changing their property and space requirements. 

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The presence of the Internet is changing behaviours and as a result, retail is changing. Retailers must have a heavy presence online through search engines such as Google and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The windfall of revenue from retailers has helped propel these internet giants to multi billion dollar valuations.

E-commerce is eroding market shares

Large retailers such as Best Buy must adjust to their decline in market share by making major executive changes – the Chief Administrative and Chief Financial Officer recently stepped down from their positions. With these changes Best Buy is optimistic that their shares will begin to rise and the company will see a turnaround.

Best Buy Shares are down 37% since June 5, 2008

There are also generational shopping differences and retailers must accommodate for these differences. For example; millennials are more inclined to shop online and are sensitive to pricing, whereas baby boomers rely more on in-store service and are less inclined to shop online.

The chart below illustrates the generational shopping differences between millennials (born in the early 1980’s to 2000’s) and baby boomers (born from 1946 to 1964).

Millenials vs. Baby Boomers


Check back next week for Part Two of the Canada's Changing Retail Environment series, Shaping Development.

Sandy G. Shindleman
President & CEO 


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