Cost key for Canadians

A new study says Canadians place value and low prices above selection, variety and service when shopping for themselves and their families.The study says almost six in 10 adults in six cities surveyed - Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal...

A new study says Canadians place value and low prices above selection, variety and service when shopping for themselves and their families.

The study says almost six in 10 adults in six cities surveyed – Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – say they always check and compare prices before buying, and more than two-thirds of them say they always look for sales and specials in advertising and flyers.

Kubas Consultants in Toronto released the findings of the study, Major Market Retail Report, in late November.

Ed Strapagiel, Kubas vice-president and director of the study, says the report shows consumer emphasis on value is intense, outdistancing variety, selection and customer service as the primary motivator of where people shop.

Strapagiel says there are a few retailers that stick out at the top and bottom of the value-for-money list, but the rest are in a clump at the middle.

Surveys for the first wave of the study were conducted in August.

Strapagiel says the surveys for the second wave of the report will be conducted next February, and be ready for release in April.

The study surveys 100 non-grocery retailers in 25 product categories.

It covers store preference, advertising and media use, patronage by product category or department, and more.

Wal-Mart, which has shaken the Canadian retail scene, has found favor with consumers in its short time here, the study found.

It reports 61% of Canadians say Wal-Mart will do a better job than Woolco (Wal-Mart bought 122 Woolco outlets this year), and almost half the respondents reported they are ‘very interested’ or ‘somewhat interested’ in shopping at Wal-Mart.