The Big Boxes Look North: Bad News for US?

Retail Traffic reports that, from Nordstrom to Big Lots, big box retailers are increasingly looking to Canada for new investment opportunities.  The rationale should raise a big red flag for US policy makers:

Canada’s banking system did not experience the same convulsions that rippled through Wall Street in 2008 and 2009. Its unemployment rate—at 7.4 percent at the end of May—is lower than America’s, which stands at 9.1 percent. It is expanding more quickly, with GDP growing at an annualized rate of 3.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with a 1.8 percent rate in the U.S. While the U.S. housing market may be entering a double-dip, Canada’s remains healthy. The Canadian dollar also remains strong relative to the U.S. dollar. All of this means that Canadian per capita retail spending is projected to surpass the U.S. figure for the first time in 2011. (See chart.)

“Looking at just about every socioeconomic metric between U.S. and Canada, whatever is good in Canada is bad in the U.S.: unemployment, home sales, job growth,” says David Marcotte, senior vice president with Kantar Retail, a Columbus, Ohio-based consulting firm. Plus, “Canada is next to the U.S., the banking system is fairly integrated between the two countries, so from a business perspective it’s a relatively easy option.”

A little unnerving, eh?  The full story is here.

Via Planetizen.

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