TORONTO — Some smaller chains will disappear from Canada’s retail landscape this year, retail analyst Bruce Winder has told CTV News. The country’s 38 Town Shoes stores will close their doors this month, followed by Jean Machine’s 24 locations in February. Get used to it, says Winder. “Every year now, you’re going to see a few of these weaker players bow out,” he told CTV. “There’s going to be some folks who go bankrupt. There’s going to be some folks who get out.”
Unsurprisingly, it’s the growing shift to online shopping that’s behind the closures. While many large retailers have been able to play catch-up, many smaller ones have not. Their departure leaves behind storefronts ready to be filled by new banners. In 2017 more than 50 international brands made their retail entry into Canada, with the trend continuing last year and expected to do so again in 2019. “Canada has become the hotspot for companies dipping their toe in the North American retail market,” Winder said.