A good week to look at retail.

Leger held its 2019 WOW Customer Experience Retail Monitor awards here in Toronto last Thursday morning, and we were there to learn the winners’ names – and more about the ever-evolving Canadian retail landscape.

Retailers from many categories (such as grocery, pharmacy, convenience and dollar) were rated on markers including service, selection, price, store, and customization (including customer loyalty). Congratulations to all the winners! (You can read more about Leger’s methodology and findings here.)

The awards were followed by BDO Canada‘s Retail Trends in Canada 2019-2020 report. It was a fascinating look at the retail revolution, with topics that included market polarization, real estate, digital transformation, customer experience, and the new omnichannel reality.

Some interesting take-aways from this report:

  • Exclusive products, better prices, and outstanding customer service were prime retail differentiators,
  • Although brick-and-mortar stores are not dead, retailers are experimenting with new approaches including smaller stores, pop-ups, and new distribution strategies,
  • While Canadian malls have fared better than their U.S. counterparts, urban malls which focus on experience and luxury fare better than those in the suburbs,
  • Technology is making a huge impact on the retail experience – these include barcode scanning in mobile apps, integrated wayfinding, and sales associates with mobile devices that speed up customer checkout, and
  • A move to video marketing over photos (as broadband capabilities expand).

Download the report here; it’s an important for retailers preparing for the year ahead.

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