Retail Border Wars: Winning the International Retail Race
By Wendy Evans
The North American retail industry, including Canada, the United States and Mexico has undergone significant change over the last decade, and particularly over the last five years. This research documents and analyzes what we have identified as the most important change - the internationalization of the North American retail market. This study builds on research which was begun in 1988 and published as a book called Border Crossings in 1992. The question that we set out to answer at that time was why leading Canadian retailers fared so poorly in the American market while United States retailers were almost always successful in Canada.
Four years later, this study searches for insights into the changing nature of retail competition in the North American market, and the cross border movement between Canada, the United States and to a lesser extent Mexico. There is very clearly an American retail advantage and U.S. retailers have already won significant market share in both Canada and Mexico. It is hoped that the findings and insights into the process will both stimulate the desire of Canadian retailers to expand internationally, and facilitate their success.