Recession might be the first word that comes to mind when evaluating the retail market in the United States, but the same cannot be said of the Canadian market. While the recent financial crisis in the U.S. has had an effect in many countries across the world, there are a number of markets that are seeing significant growth, particularly the Canadian retail sector.
Canada has a stable economy and a strong dollar, and as a result, is seeing more retailers – from the U.S. and beyond – enter the marketplace. The influx of new stores and concepts is changing the face of Canadian retail.
A SOLID FOUNDATION
The Canadian economy has fared relatively well over the past few years for a number of reasons. Strong fundamentals and strict banking regulations, coupled with conservative spending habits on the part of consumers, have created an environment that has enabled the country to withstand the recent economic downturn.
“The Canadian market is in a healthier state than the United States due to our strong economy and its underlying fundamentals, and by having one of the worldﾒs soundest banking systems,” says Jim Murdoch, executive vice president with Montreal-based Oberfeld Snowcap. “We are currently enjoying low unemployment, a stable housing market, low inflation and strong job creation numbers.”
The tight lending regulations, while frustrating for some, have ended up being a very good thing for the Canadian economy, especially in light of the pitfalls that the United States has faced. “The United States has suffered from a much deeper recession,” says Stephen Messinger, senior partner with Minden Gross in Toronto. “The Canadian banks are solid because of stricter lending controls, which have allowed the economy to weather the storm.”
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