WalMart Comes to Canada
By Dr. Jim Simmons and Tom Graff
The Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity has taken a special interest in international retailing. In this paper we explore the potential impact of just one retailer, but a very important one. Wal-Mart is already the largest retailer in the United States, and in the world. Within four years it has risen to sixth place in Canada in terms of sales. The paper speculates about the implications of WalMart's continued penetration of the Canadian market, to match the American pattern.
This paper is not a forecast! Think of it as simply speculative, an exercise in exploring what could happen in the next decade. The changes may not happen in this fashion, or they may be driven by some new competitors yet unknown - perhaps another foreign retailer. But clearly, continuing and substantial adjustments are going to characterize these sectors of Canadian retailing in the next two decades. Retailing will not stay the same.