All Retail stories

Should you get a streaming bundle?

Streaming bundles are finally coming to Canada — but are they worth it?

H&M experiments with high fashion

Like us trying to figure out what to wear to the company holiday party, H&M is having a bit of a fashion identity crisis.

Driving the news: With their budget garments undercut by China-based fast-fashion sellers like Shein and Temu, H&M is making a push into the higher-end retail tier with new collections of pricier apparel, per Reuters.

Stores seek help to curb shoplifting

Shoplifting has risen steadily alongside the cost of living in Canada, but police departments and industry groups have said that incidents are also becoming increasingly violent.

Driving the news: The CEO of London Drugs, a BC-based pharmacy, is calling on policymakers to act as shoplifting increasingly puts staff in harm’s way. Incidents have ranged from threats with needles to stabbings to assaults with hatchets.

Stores show off their new brands

One in every three Canadians are buying more store brands to offset food inflation. 

But retailers are trying to boost that number by changing a common perception among shoppers: That store brands just aren’t that good.

Driving the news: PerThe New York Times, store brands, also known as private label brands, are gaining ground on well-known consumer brands, and it’s not just because shoppers want to save cash — retailers are also adding variety and increasing quality. 

Retailers want to replace tags with QR codes

Someone has figured out a use for QR codes that isn’t totally frustrating (looking at you, restaurants with digital-only menus). 

Per Axios, US clothing manufacturers are lobbying for permission to replace physical clothing tags—which by law, have to include things like care instructions, fibre content, and country of origin—with digital labels, likely in the form of QR codes.

The era of easy returns is over

The days of no-questioned-asked returns are numbered, as retailers crack down on one of their biggest profit suckers in a worsening economic climate. 

Across North America, merchants—especially those with online stores—are shortening their return windows (Sephora), adding return fees (Uniqlo) and, offering discounts to discourage returns (Amazon), per The Wall Street Journal.   

Time to shine for lab-grown diamonds

Diamonds have been a lot of things over the years… 

The economics of Halloween

If your last-minute Liz Truss costume (blonde wig, dark suit, everyone mad at you) fails to turn heads, perhaps you can impress trick-or-treaters with some fun tidbits about the economics of Halloween. Look no further—we’ve got you covered. 

Driving the news: Canadians will spend $1.64 billion on Halloween this year, up 21% from last year but still $730 million short of total spending in 2019 (the last before the pandemic).

Halloween's back, but supply chains snarls lurk around every corner

After two years of COVID-era Halloweens that veered away from the spooky and into the downright grim, Canadians are ready to get back to normal for this year’s haunted festivities.

Driving the news: 86% of Canadians will spend more (or the same) on Halloween as last year, and more than half who celebrate will spend at least $50, according to a survey by the Retail Council of Canada.

Walmart launches a virtual dressing room

Handing over your semi-nudes to Walmart? What could possibly go wrong?