By Joanne Nemeroff, Senior Vice-President, Sears Canada and featured expert on Episode 4, Season 2. Find out more about Joanne Nemeroff.

Canadian retailers need merchandise to fill the shelves and sell to customers, so what are the most important qualities necessary when those retailers select a vendor?

A customer looks for great value at the right time when shopping - good quality for a good price. A business needs suppliers that can fulfill that need, either in Canada or overseas. Manufacturing costs may be lower outside of Canada, however the speed of delivery can be faster inside Canada.

Merchandise that is made in Canada may give a retailer a leg up on the competition that imports its products from overseas. Staples in a wardrobe and fashion of the moment can be delivered faster if the factory is here in Canada. Whether the client is low to mid to high-end, fast, reliable delivery of goods is important to all retailers.

Speed is the greatest advantage a Canadian manufacturer has. Quite simply, to succeed a company must set itself up to work swiftly.

Products that are manufactured in Canada do not have far to travel and can be made and delivered quickly. Small runs of a particular product can easily be expedited to a retail store, and with no fees for freight, duty or customs, the manufacturing costs can be controlled. These savings are passed down to the retailer, which are in turn passed down to the customer.

Companies that are physically located close to their clients gives them the opportunity to know the customer better, and they can develop a close relationship with frequent interactions. There is no greater way to build trust than through regular face-to-face meetings, where questions can be answered quickly and issues resolved in a timely manner. This is the case whether the vendor is here in Canada or based overseas.

No matter where, how or with whom you do business, find your comfort niche and get a return for the money invested. Few products are made in Canada today as we are no longer a manufacturing society. However, there are still companies based in Canada that produce quality merchandise, quickly, for a good price. If you see value in goods being produced, so will the customer. Ultimately the business owner must decide what is more important - the lower cost to produce or the speed to deliver.

« Back to Blog