Retail in Canada
“It’s been popular for ages but Beijing didn’t have one, only Hong Kong. So everyone’s come to see it,” said Long Hua, 32, lining up outside the store with a friend.  ( National Post)
The location, which is set to be overseen by experienced nurse practitioners, will provide consumers with one-on-one consultations and such select services and treatments as cosmetic injections, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, peels and a variety of laser services. ( Drug Store News )
David Soberman, a professor of marketing at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, thinks increased use of technology in retail is more about keeping up with major online competition than cutting employee numbers. (The Star )
Littler said the Retail Council of Canada will be watching the U.K. over the coming years to see where Boxing Day closures go from here and how it impacts retailers. (CTV)
Toronto city council has grappled with this matter several times without much success, often encountering opposition from religious groups and workers’ unions who are opposed to changing the rules. Following yet another series of extensive public consultations on the issue, the city voted in the fall of 2017 against amending the act. (The Star)

From incredible new technologies to never-before-seen levels of personalization, Canadian shoppers can expect to see retailers paying more attention than ever to customer convenience in 2019. (CTV)
January 4, 2019
Retail Around the World
“Blake Nordstrom was, first and foremost, a retailer,” Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, said in an emailed statement. “His instinct was always to make decisions based on what customers wanted, with one eye on how demand was changing. ”( BNN)
The soon-to-be-dark Gap venue joins two other large, empty venues on the avenue’s prime blocks below 57th Street. The former Ralph Lauren Polo store has been vacant for more than a year, and Henri Bendel is locking its doors in January. ( New York Post )
Lampert has offered two options to try to keep the company afloat, a $4.4 billion plan that would save 425 locations and a less-ambitious proposal that would keep at least 250 of the little under 700 it had when it filed for bankruptcy in October. (CNBC)
The 11-story building has been sold to the WeWork space-leasing company for more than $850-million. (For Subscribers Only- The Globe and Mail)
Everybody, I’d like to announce that the retail apocalypse has been officially cancelled. It turns out, humans do occasionally like putting down their smartphones, leaving their sofas, and going to a real brick and mortar store to make a purchase. (Fast Company)

Investors and fund managers may have spent the holiday chewing their fingernails, but consumers had all kinds of confidence, with Mastercard SpendingPulse reporting a 5.1% jump in seasonal spending. Mastercard says overall sales hit $850 billion this year, the best bump in six years, with online sales rising 19.1% from last year. (Media Post)
News For Retail Entrepreneurs
She says that although the transition period has come to an end, it's still going to be a learning process to figure out the best way to protect the products she's selling from the elements, especially considering most of them are made from paper. (CBC)
A cannabis retailer has leased space on Canada’s most prestigious street-front retail strip, Bloor Street West in Toronto, and another is set to open nearby in Yorkville. Neither is open yet and it’s not yet clear how they will operate, given that only 25 cannabis licenses will be granted by the Ontario government in April of this year. (Retail Insider)
“With the provincial stuff it was just a lot of thorough investigation. Every time they had to call me and say we need this now, we need that now. I went from thinking what’s taking so long to of course it’s taking so long. Because they’re trying really hard to make sure it’s a clean industry without a criminal organization in it,” he said. (Vancouver Sun)
Consumer journeys are more complex than most retailers realize 75 percent of customers that transact in our stores [initiated them online]; having systems that allow for seamless data transfer between channels allows us to design a better experience. (DigiDay)
Spotlight on Retail Technology
The Blended Commerce Imperative: Insights on today’s consumer with advice and tips for retailers. (Retail Council of Canada)
Avoid the hassle and cost of a clumsy technology deployment by designing it and doing it right the first time. ( Canadian Retailer)
The three main takeaways from the new policy, which will go live on February 1, are a ban on exclusive sales, the outlawing of retailers selling products on platforms they count as investors and restrictions on discounts and cash back. (Tech Crunch)
Buy online, pickup-in-store spending increased 47% from November 1 to December 19 compared to a year ago, according to data from Adobe Analytics. Adobe said it was the biggest holiday on record for online pickups. ( CNN )
The smart speaker market reached critical mass in 2018, with around 41 percent of U.S. consumers now owning a voice-activated speaker, up from 21.5 percent in 2017. ( TechCrunch )
The new report from ECR and NCR, Self-Checkout in Retail: Measuring the Loss, suggests a typical retailer can experience an increase in stock loss of one basis point for every 1% of sales that go through fixed SCO machines. (Canadian Grocer)
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