Updated: Mar 23
Last week, Nordstrom, the American luxury department store, announced that they would be closing their 13 brick-and-mortar store across Canada by the summer of 2023. According to their first quarterly report of this year, the Canadian market makes up less than 3% of the retailer’s sales.
To better understand the luxury market in Canada, we took to Polly to see what luxury meant to Canadians, begging the question “Do you buy luxury brands?” Interestingly, from an engagement of just over 10,000 over the past year, Canadians expressed a willingness to splurge on vehicles (54% of the discussion) and homes (46% of the conversation). Polly reported that the eldest and youngest age groups are more willing to spend on vehicles, whereas those who are middle-aged are likely to splurge on their home purchase. (See report 1 below)
We took this same question to the US market over the same period and saw a level of engagement of 300,000 with the conversation entirely focused on clothing and accessories. 42% of this conversation was centred around the concept that “luxury brands don’t market to rich people. They market to poor’s who wanna look rich.” The American middle class has a distinct view of luxury, one that has allowed Nordstrom to thrive in the American market. (See report 2 below)
Canada’s proximity to the US has created a trap for several US retailers, as many of them have shut their Canadian doors in just a couple of years. Though often categorized the same as Americans, Canadians have proven once again that their consumer culture varies from their southern neighbours. Maybe Nordstrom should have #askpolly before venturing north...
What does luxury mean to you? Give us your thoughts below!