Independent Stores are Struggling in Canada


According to data from retail management software leader Vend, sales for North America's independent retailers in the past 12 months were 11 per cent lower than the global average.

The report compared data from over 13,000 retailers with a focus on North America, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

In North America, the number of transactions processed by each store monthly on an average were 31 per cent less than sales volumes in the U.K. and 16 per cent lower than Australia.

But even though sales might be low, everyone's still spending.

Retail spending was strong compared to the global markets.

The report found that North American retailers' average monthly revenue was on par with the global average, in fact it was 15 per cent higher than U.K. The amount spent in a retail shop per transaction was four per cent higher than the global average.

“It’s not an easy market for independent stores right now,” says Butch Langlois, Vend Country Manager for North America. “However, it is encouraging to see healthy revenue and spending figures compared to other key markets. This shows that consumers are still clearly choosing to shop with independent stores - it's simply value over volume - which is a testament to the unique products and experiences these retailers provide.”

Beer, wine and spirits stores had the highest revenue of North American retailers, followed by furniture stores, jewellery and luggage stores. Cosmetics and beauty stores, office supplies, stationery and gift stores had the lowest average revenue.

“Our data also shows that our local retailers are generally doing a good job of their customer loyalty programs compared to other countries. Some 56 per cent of North American retailers have loyalty enabled in their POS system, and they have 23 per cent more customers stored in their database than the global average - well above British and Australian stores. Knowing who your customers are and being able to use the information you have to give them the best in-store experience possible can make a big difference to sales and repeat business,” says Langlois.

Chris Guillot, founder of small business retail consultancy Merchant Method has seen similar trends.

“Many of the report findings are consistent with my recent experience. I’m surprised by the higher rate of collected customer information, though. This may be correlated to the national “shop local” movement in the US. When considered with lower margins in the US, this elevated customer capture rate may also indicate price sensitivity -- customers being willing to exchange their personal information for discounts.”

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