Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The price discrepancy between Canadian & U.S. Retailers

Yes please, let's get to the bottom of the reasons there is such a price discrepancy (20% on average) between what Canadians pay for retail goods, and what Americans pay.  I've always been told that there are "higher costs" in Canada (rent, labour, etc...) and that there are "additional costs" as well, which still remain a bit of a mystery to me, despite working in retail management for both American and Canadian retailers for 10+ years.  If there are truly added costs, let's uncover what they actually are, so that we - as consumers - are empowered with that knowledge and can use it to facilitate CHANGE.   This change does not have to punish our homegrown businesses, especially the ones who provide the right product at the right price with excellent service.  Certainly there is room for the removal of unnecessary barriers (to both retailers and shoppers) that hinder the pocketbooks of hardworking Canadians who completely deserve to decide for themselves what to buy & where to shop.

You can imagine why I was so happy to hear today that our Finance Minister - Jim Flaherty - will be probing into this.  Flaherty wants the Senate committee to investigate the factors that affect retail prices, including transportation, freight costs, tariffs on consumer goods and real estate.  "We need to ensure prices are continuing to move in the right direction and reflect the value of our stronger dollar," he said. "We must also better understand why certain price discrepancies may continue to exist."

We eagerly await your findings Mr. Flaherty! 

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