Canadian Chain Counts on Canadians’ Loyalty
There’s no doubt that Canadian consumers are different than
Here in the U.S., consumers have shown a willingness to throw off "Made
in America" products and local retailers for a better deal. Now, as retail
chains from the U.S. and elsewhere look to Canada as a growth market, will
Canadians stick with their own?
Robert Dutton, chief executive officer of Rona,
the largest home improvement retailer in Canada, thinks they well.
In a speech
to the Economic Club of Canada, Mr. Rona said that high unemployment in the
country due to the recession has made people "more conscious" about
supporting homegrown companies.
That consciousness, according to a Canadian
Press report, also seems
to have extended to Mr. Dutton’s company.
"That’s the reason we’re working so hard with Canadian suppliers — because
we have to preserve the jobs here in Canada not only in retail but the real
good jobs — well-paying — in the manufacturing sector," he
Mr. Dutton said Rona has managed to grow its share of market despite the
presence of American rivals, including Home Depot and Lowe’s.
"In 2010 our share of the Canadian market was higher than Lowe’s
and Home Depot’s combined," Mr. Dutton said.
Rona is looking to grow
its share of the home improvement market through acquisitions.
In a speech
made in January, Claude Guévin, executive vice president
and chief financial officer for Rona, said, "For a good decade now we’ve
been the market consolidation leader in Canada. We intend to bank on that leadership
and to make the most of this strategy. Our long-term objective is to have one
square foot of retail space for every Canadian, increasing our market share
from the current 19 percent to 25 percent."
- Rona CEO says Canadian shoppers will help homegrown retailers succeed – The
- Rona sees growth in Canadian market – Toronto Star
- Presentation to the Cercle finance et placement du Québec – Rona
Discussion Questions: Is local or national pride messaging a winning marketing strategy for retailers and/or brands? As a result of the recession, are consumers more likely to support companies that create and keep jobs at home? Will U.S. retailers meet resistance in their expansion efforts into Canada?