Market Thresholds of Major Retail Chains in Canada: 2014-2019
By Dr. Tony Hernandez and Sitha Sivaskandarajah
In this CSCA Research Insight we assess the size and market distribution of a selected set of major retail chains across the urban hierarchy and by location type. Using data from the CSCA Major Retail Chain database we provide an analysis of the changing store portfolios of 488 established major retail chains that were in operation throughout the 2014 to 2019 period, with these retailers collectively operating over 33,000 stores in 2019. Our analysis is undertaken at the geographic level of the 974 ‘population centres’ defined by Statistics Canada. Population centres are used as a proxy to delimit markets across the urban hierarchy, from major urban areas down to non-population centres, i.e., rural area. We find that overall there was a modest increase in the store count of the major retail chains, albeit less than the national population growth rate, with variations by market size and location type. The analysis acts as a benchmark for future analysis that will assess the impact of the global pandemic on the store portfolios of major retailers operating in Canada.