More Deal Opportunities in Canada; Major US Retailers coming to Canada

More Deal Opportunities in Canada; Major US Retailers coming to Canada

Regardless of what the past year has brought the deals industry, be it expansion, consolidation, merging of deal sectors, etc, the one thing 2012 did not bring in Canada was a strong increase in brand name retailers utilizing the daily deal sector as a marketing channel. There still remains a tentative attitude towards the daily deals industry and far more brand name retailers leverage the couponing and affiliate model within their marketing mix than they do daily deals. There are several reasons why this may be the case, but that is beyond the scope of this post. Perhaps we will tackle that in a future article.

For this article, we would like your attention on one thing…the fact that opportunities for deal providers to work with large brand name retailers in Canada may improve significantly over the course of the following year. Here is why:


Despite a lethargic retail industry in Canada, there remains the fact that big box US retailers are eager to set up shop here. Their reasons for coming to Canada are obvious: compared to the US, Canada has fewer retail options and of those that are here, well, they tend to make more money per square foot than their US counter part.

A report in 2012 by real estate consultancy Colliers International found that the U.S. has 23 square feet of retail space per person versus 14 square feet in Canada.Despite this, Canadian malls have average annual sales of $580 for every square foot of retail space, the US? …$309 per square foot.

Translation? Get ready for a migration of big box retailers to Canada from the US. Here are seven U.S. chains that are coming to Canada in 2013.

Perhaps there are opportunities for deal providers to engage these retailers in order to help them distribute their marketing and and customer acquisition strategies to Canadians. There will most certainly be coupons offers from some and that is great news for affiliate networks like Linkshare, Commission Junction or Shareasale, and for coupon portals and blogs like Red Flag deals or Bargain mosse and hundreds of others. among others. However, would some of these benefit from the millions of customers that Teambuy, Wagjag, Tuango or other deal providers have in their databases in Canada? You bet. Can medium sized deal providers like Buytopia, Citylinked, Goyub, Social shopper, Dealathons, rDeals or Astral media have a chance at building a markting relationship with some of the following retailers? They certainly do since several of these retailers want niche marketing programs and not simply national campaigns. So who are these seven:

  1. Target: One of the most popular discount chains in the US is setting up shop in Canada in a big way. They bought the leaseholds for 189 Zellers locations from Hudson’s Bay Co. in late 2010, with plans to convert most of them to Target locations in the near future. They are set to open as many as 135 locations across Canada over the upcoming year. Over the course of the year, Target will launch 13 stores in Vancouver, Alberta and Quebec, three in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, one in Nova Scotia and 37 in Ontario. In the US, Target leverages the couponing and affiliate deals sector often. Look for them to do the same in Canada.
  2. Marshall’s:  They own TJ Maxx and also the Winners brand here in Canada. They already have 12 locations across Ontario. Given their focus on designer a discount, there are certainly deal sites that have a client base that fit very nicely with Marshalls.
  3. J Crew: They launched their first Canadian location in August 2011 and now have 3 more in Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto. Given the success that Teambuy had with American Apparel, perhaps a relationship with JCrew may make sense. Sure JCrew is far more expensive and upscale than American Apparel and as such a relationship with Social shopper in Vancouver would make sense as well.
  4. Bloomingdale’s: The high-end department store chain is working with Hudson Bay to bring its stores into the Bay’s retail chain as a “store within a store” concept. They have already launched an e-commerce site catering to Canadian customers. Highly doubtful that Bloomingdale’s would work with any Daily deal providers though. Just saying! But you never know…it all depends on the right promotion and branding.
  5. Nordstrom: The luxury retailer is said to have taken over some real estate from Sears Canada. Look for them to open in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. As is normally the case in Canada, Montreal is always last when it comes to US expansion. They seem to shy away from the dual French/English market until they have succeeded in “easier” markets like Toronto or Vancouver. Again, Nordstrom, Like Bloomingdale’s is upscale… competitor is Holt Renfrew. It would take quite the creative marketing campaign for Nordstrom to utilize a deal providers distribution. But that’s what they have to see deal sites as…a distribution model where they can reach over a million subscribers and invite them, privately perhaps, to an invitation only shopping experience. I see Wagjag and  Social Shopper out west perhaps having interesting conversations with them.
  6. Tanger Outlets: Who???!!  Tanger signed a $1 billion deal with Canada’s largest REIT RioCan to bring Tanger Outlet centres to Canada. Tanger outlets tend to be very large. The first of Tanger’s is the outlet mall in Cookstown, Ont., north of Toronto.
  7. Dollar Tree: One of the top Dollar stores in the US. they will be setting up shop in Canada to compete with the very successful Dollarama. No surprise here. Dollarama has done very well across the country and Dollar Tree would like some of this Canadian action. Dollar Tree already took over the 85 stores of the smaller Canadian brand Dollar Giant.

These are but seven retailers coming to Canada. There are more and each requires foot traffic to survive. Deal providers can certainly provide that foot traffic. The question is how will deal sites tailor their campaigns to cater specifically to these types of retailers. One things is certain, the Canadian retailer sector is getting a hell of a lot more interesting and there are opportunities for those that can forge the right relationships.



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