Canada is the sixth most attractive location in the world for retailers to operate, according to the recently published Arcadis Retail Operation Index (PDF). Canada scored particularly high in the index's 'ease of operating' ranking, and scored strongly overall.
The Arcadis Retail Operation Index ranks 50 international markets according to five key factors that retailers consider when selecting retail locations. These include the following, with Canada's rankings:
- Infrastructure quality: Canada: 10
- Ease of establishing a business and getting it 'up-and-running': Canada: 9
- Market demand: Canada: 9
- Economic environment: Canada: 10
- Ease of operating: Canada: 3
The ten most favourable markets for retailers, according to the Arcadis Retail Operation Index, include:
- Hong Kong
- United States
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- The Netherlands
Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, all in Asia, occupy three of the top five positions. Each country boasts governments willing to promote foreign investment, creating stability for potentially struggling retailers to improve operations. As well, each has growing middle-class populations seeking consumer goods.
Despite aging infrastructure, the United States and United Kingdom scored highly -- particularly due to favourable regulatory environments and strong economic climate. Two Eurozone countries The Netherlands and Germany made the top 10, though retailers may reevaluate investment given recent issues with the Euro.
International retailers continue to enter the Canadian market. A substantial number of fashion brands enter Canada through Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre and in 2013, approximately one third of all new international retailers entered Canada through the Toronto mall. As well, a significant number of luxury brands entering the Canadian market over the next 24 months will open their first locations in Vancouver.
For reference, the ten least favourable markets for retailers to operate, according to the same index:
Antony Karabus, CEO of leading retail consultancy HRC Advisory, said: “Canada's exceptional and transparent legal and regulatory systems and well-educated workforce contributes to its high overall rankings, particularly 'ease of operating'". He went on to say, "the significant growth in discretionary income levels and availability of high quality retail real estate make Canada
an attractive market for international fashion and lifestyle retailers, as they continue to see opportunities for profitable growth in the Canadian market, despite increasing competition”.