Marty Weintraub on the state of Canadian retail

On this week’s episode of Free Lunch by The Peak, we sat down with Marty Weintraub to talk about the challenges and opportunities that are facing Canadian retailers these days. 

How bad is the issue of shoplifting? 

“I have never seen theft as high as it is now. The shrink rate, or inventory lost, is typically under 2% in most retail operations, but we're seeing shrink rates potentially double for some retailers. Some are even pulling out or reducing the number of self-checkout lanes.”

What are some potential solutions?

“The technology is there, but there are obstacles that come up: If you have hundreds of thousands of stores and you need cameras, infrastructure, it's just, the capital is enormous. And so the problem is bad, but the capital is still bigger. So the business case is tough.”

How are retailers using customer data?

“The concept of becoming more insight-oriented is something we've been talking about for many years now, but probably seriously for about the last six or seven. You still need the infrastructure and talent technology-wise, so retailers are focused on building that up now.” 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Listen to the full conversation here.