Skip to main content

Seven in 10 executives believe a large, Canadian-based retail sector is important to the country – and even more believe digital disruption is poised to threaten that sector “severely”.

Popartic/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Seven in 10 executives believe a large, Canadian-based retail sector is important to the country – and even more believe digital disruption is poised to threaten that sector "severely".

This quarter's C-Suite survey asked business leaders to think about the future of retail. They're worried. Nearly three-quarters of them believe foreign competition is a threat, slightly more than that believe Canada's retailers aren't getting into e-commerce fast enough.

There is, however, some optimism: Most believe that the Canadian sector can grow if it aggressively adopts digital strategies and embraces e-commerce. The country, three-quarters of them say, is actually in a good position to do so, thanks to its work force and adoption of technology. And they don't see the closure of Sears Canada as a bellwether for broader Canadian competitiveness – they believe it's a unique case, driven by its own circumstances and management.

Story continues below advertisement

Executives believe the No. 1 way to make Canadian retailers more competitive is to increase their e-commerce presences. Next comes an increased understanding of consumers – something the leadership of Mountain Equipment Co-op knows well, having expanded their offerings earlier this decade to accommodate more urban adventures.

"I think the organizations that will survive will be those that continue to meet the needs of the customer," says Sandy Treagus, MEC's chief financial officer.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter