Productivity Growth in Canadian Retailing
By Jim Simmons
This research letter focuses on the productivity gains that have been experienced within the Canadian retail industry. The causes of such growth are discussed with reference to the increased role that retail and service plays within the national economy, and the innovations that have taken place in the retail industry as a whole. Essentially, the research letter is a commentary on the evolution of the Canadian retail system, and of course, the Canadian consumer. New forms of retailing, increased supply-chain efficiencies (accelerating the time taken to get, and frequency of, products to consumers whilst reducing costs) and ubiquitous information technologies that track, monitor and anticipate consumer behaviour are all part of this transition. As we look forward, the trends identified raise questions as to how the retail industry will change in the future, and specifically, at what point will the scale economies (bigger is better) meet with consumer backlash as they search for the utopian retail experience.