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Global apparel brands foray in Canadian retail market

13
Sep '12
Mr. Bob Kirke
Canada is soon emerging as the new business hub for high-end apparel retailers worldwide, especially from the US.
 
The country located in the northern part of the American continent is experiencing a new fashion revolution with upmarket international apparel brands hitting the Canadian streets.
 
“Canada is an established market with tastes, customs and retail environment similar to the US. More importantly the Canadian market has performed much better as compared to the US market during and after the global financial crisis,” cites Mr. Bob Kirke, Executive Director of Canadian Apparel Federation, while explaining the reasons behind the retail expansion in Canada in an exclusive chat with fibre2fashion.
 
“Besides, North America is now truly a single market for fashion and the Canada-US border has become increasingly irrelevant in the past few months,” he adds.
 
When quizzed about the factors that are still impeding the fashion labels to expand smoothly, he avers, “The challenge for the supply chain is that the customs and regulatory systems of the two nations are quite different and separate.”
 
“In the long run many of these new entrants will be forced to weigh the additional costs of doing business in Canada with a fairly modest market size.  Hence, in future, the firms with 10 to 20 stores might not be able to justify the expense of operating in a market the size of California,” he opines.
 
Speaking about the brands and retailers that are expected to enter the Canadian market soon, Mr. Kirke says, “Most US and to some extent international specialty stores that were not already in Canada are moving here.”
 
“Among majors, the American retailing company Target will be opening stores in 2013, and there are persistent rumours that the US-based departmental chain ‘Nordstrom’ will also announce its Canadian expansion plans shortly,” he reveals.
 
The Executive Director expects the new retail entrants will help in benefitting the Canadian fashion and apparel industry as well as boost the overall economy of the country. 
 
According to him, “The consumers will have greater choices. Moreover, the domestic manufacturers and importers, who are reluctant to create new relationships with the foreign brands, will be challenged to supply these retailers, as they have established vendors and factories.”
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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