With Target opening stores across the country and Nordstrom, Saks and others ready to jump into the fray, Canada’s retail scene is getting crowded. And it’s about to get even more crowded.
According to the Financial Post, Japanese fashion retail giant Uniqlo is planning to come to Canada beginning in 2016, starting with a possible store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall.
That follows an unconfirmed report last week from Retail Insider that Nordstrom, the high-end U.S. retail brand in the midst of a Canadian expansion, could purchase the rights to open Uniqlo locations in Canada.
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say Uniqlo is bent on world domination. The company openly states it wants to be the world’s largest retailer by the end of the decade; it currently ranks fourth, behind Zara, Hennes & Mauritz and The Gap.
The company entered the U.S. market in 2011 and is expanding at a rate of 20 to 30 stores per year. That might not be fast enough to justify the investment it's making in the market, the Wall Street Journal suggests.
And in Canada, the retailer is likely to run into obstacles as well, as the country’s retail sector has been experiencing an unusual amount of competition in the wake of Target’s arrival.
Analysts expect layoffs in the retail sector to intensify this year. Sears and Best Buy have both been aggressively cutting staff in Canada, offsetting some of the job gains in retail from Target’s arrival.
With more retailers in the market, it’s harder to increase revenue, meaning companies will have to cut spending on employees to grow profits, Ernst and Young retail analyst Daniel Baer told The Canadian Press earlier this year.