The pandemic has, unfortunately, impacted so many businesses this past year, with some barely making it by and others having to close for good. This year, we’ve seen larger retailers like Victoria’s Secret and Gap struggle, as well as smaller retailers like Henry’s.
And now, a retail expert is saying that two prominent Canadian retailers could be the next retailers negatively impacted by COVID-related restrictions and a change in shopping behaviour.
Doug Stephens, a retail expert, told CTV News that Canadian Tire and Hudson’s Bay could be next on the list to face major and potentially detrimental financial issues.
He explains that these two brands haven’t been able to adapt to the changing retail environment these last months, or even before the pandemic.
As two of Canada’s largest department chains, Canadian Tire and Hudson’s Bay, these types of companies can have a difficult time adapting to the online world of shopping. The majority of retail sales within the past months have been digital, and with major online competitors like Amazon, Canadian Tire and Hudson’s Bay haven’t been able to keep up.
However, a spokesperson for Hudson’s Bay says it’s actually the opposite. “Most recently, Hudson’s Bay re-platformed its e-commerce site to an industry-leading technology, with a fully redesigned customer journey including a live chat directly with customer service or an in-store associate.”
The company also says that it is expecting to recover strongly from the pandemic. Just recently it introduced a Hudson’s Bay app, which has almost 400,000 downloads.
When it comes to Canadian Tire, Stephens has his concern for the company due to its lack of home delivery for certain products and a COVID-related second-quarter loss. Canadian Tire also reached out to CTV News and said that its e-commerce sales have been up 500%. The company has no plans in leaving as it stated, “we have been meeting the needs of our customers for nearly 100 years and are more confident than ever in our ability to continue to serve out customers in the future.”
Of course, there’s no for sure way of saying whether stores will permanently close in the foreseeable future. Only time will tell in this case.
Let’s have hope that companies have begun to implement a digital plan to embrace all of its customers on all platforms, so that we can keep shopping at these places for years to come!
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