U.S. Retail Chains In Canada
By Dr. Tony Hernandez, Dr. Ken Jones and Amanda Maze
Dating back to the cross-border exploits of the New-York based F. W. Woolworth Company in 1897, there has been a steady stream of U.S. retailers entering the Canadian marketplace. Today, U.S. retailers are key players in virtually all Canadian retail sectors, with the list of U.S.-owned retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (department), Costco Wholesale Corp. (warehouse club), The Home Depot Inc. (home improvement), Gap Inc. (fashion), Best Buy Co. (electronics), Staples Inc. (office supplies), Toys R Us Inc. (toys and games) and Safeway Inc. (supermarket). This research letter provides an update on the number, character and extent of U.S. retail chains in Canada. The historical development of U.S. chains is traced and their present-day locational preferences analyzed, with particular focus on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) market. The letter concludes by placing the U.S. chains operating in Canada within the broader context of North American retail.