How a younger generation is changing Canada’s shopping culture
WINNIPEG -- The shopping culture is changing in Canada and experts say store owners need to change with the times or risk being left behind by a generation of online shopping.
The empty store fronts appearing in shopping malls are increasing as brick-and-mortar stores close up shop opting for online presences only.
In the past year La Senza announced it would be closing it's St. Vital and Polo Park locations. Carlton Cards announced it would be closing all North American stores, including 76 in Canada. Forever 21 closed its doors last year as well.
"There's a change in culture in shopping, so consumers are not buying less, it's just that they're changing the way they shop," said Subbu Sivaranakrishman, the associate dean of the Asper School of Business.
Sivaranakrishman said competition from online retailing is resulting in less activity in brick-and-mortar locations.
He said another reason is millennials place emphasis on different factors than their parents did -- like checking to see if an item is environmentally friendly, or if it was locally sourced.
"The businesses that continued in their old ways because they were focusing on the Baby Boomer generation, they are the ones who are going to suffer the most," he said.
Local candle business Coal and Canary can attest to that. Manager Ellyse Veitch says she's seen the change in customer's priorities.
"There's been a huge shift in recent years in terms of sustainability and more caring about who's making your products, where they're coming from," Veitch said. "We do have an online store, so personally it's not something we struggle with, but I think other local businesses could be for sure."