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Major layoffs in Canadian retail sector result of retail wars: Analyst

Canada may be in the middle of a major transition of its retail sector after recent announcements of layoffs, store closures and restructuring were announced by Best Buy Canada, Sears Canada and other major retailers.

Best Buy Canada announced Thursday about 950 full-time employees would lose their jobs as it tries to rework its operations.

According to a Toronto market analyst, these companies may have different reasons for their shifts but the bigger picture shows the Canadian landscape is changing.

Alex Arifuzzaman, partner with InterStratics Consultants Inc., said what is happening is a lot like musical chairs.

“The amount of retail that is coming into Canada, is larger than the amount of growth that’s happening in the market,” said Arifuzzaman.

He said either every company will have to share a weaker customer base or the strong ones will push out the weaker retailers.

Arifuzzaman said that means retailors are having to focusing on efficiency to stay competitive.

“You have the competition with online and you have a lot of shopping centres focussing on driving shoppers there.”

According to Arifuzzaman, despite layoffs and store closures, overall retail in Canada is doing well.