BrandSpark International announces Canada’s most trusted retailers as voted by 7,500+ Canadians in a national shopper study

PRESS RELEASE: TORONTO — Leading market research firm BrandSpark International today announced the 2016 BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards winners for Retailers across Canada. The results were based on the annual BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study.

“Whether shopping for food, health and beauty products, toys, car parts, clothing, household items or other goods, shoppers want to walk into stores they trust to deliver great value, strong selection and quality goods. Now shoppers can find out which retailers were voted most trusted by other shoppers in a national survey,” said Robert Levy, President and CEO of BrandSpark International. “The annual BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards honours the retail and product brands that Canadians trust most, those they would recommend to friends and neighbours.”

Survey participants named the retailers that they consider their Most Trusted in 16 household and personal shopping categories. Listed below are the national and regional winners.

The BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards previously announced brand trust results for 143 consumer packaged goods (CPG) product categories. More details can be found at www.BrandSparkMostTrusted.com.

Retail Category

National Most Trusted Retailers

Auto Parts & Accessories

Canadian Tire

Baby / Children’s Clothing

Carter’s / Walmart (tie)

Beauty & Personal Care

Shoppers Drug Mart

Clothing / Fashion

Hudson’s Bay

Department Store

Walmart

Electronics

Best Buy

Footwear

Payless

Furniture

The Brick / Leon’s (tie)

Health / Pharmacy

Shoppers Drug Mart

Home Décor

HomeSense

Home Improvement / Hardware

Home Depot

Housewares / Kitchenware

Walmart

Mass Merchant

Walmart

Sporting Goods

Sport Chek / Sports Experts

Supermarket / Grocery

Real Canadian Superstore

Toys & Games

Toys “R” Us

The Canadian retail landscape is dotted with strong regional players

Several strong retailers lead their categories from coast to coast, including Canadian Tire (auto parts and accessories), HomeSense (home décor), Sport Chek/Sports Experts (sporting goods), Toys “R” Us (toys and games), and Best Buy (electronics). Shoppers Drug Mart is most widely trusted in English Canada for beauty and personal care as well as health and pharmacy, while Jean Coutu is Quebec shoppers’ most trusted choice.

Several other players with a regional focus are most trusted in Quebec, including Tanguay for furniture, Yellow for footwear, and Bouclair for home décor (in a tie). Rona is Quebec’s most trusted retail brand for home improvement, while elsewhere Home Depot ranks first. “We also see a trusted brand from Quebec in fashion retail, Simons, now expanding across English Canada and it will be interesting to see how they can translate their French Canada success as they expand,” added Levy.

The Grocery landscape also changes by region with No Frills earning top spot in Ontario and IGA in Quebec.  The Superstore brand comes out on top in the rest of Canada, in a tie with Sobey’s in Atlantic Canada. “Only in Quebec and Atlantic Canada were non-priced focused brands on top. Canadians continue to place value for money at the top of their list of what’s most important to them and so it’s not a surprise that the supermarket brands offering consistent high value fare so well,” added Levy.

While long-established Canadian retailers continue to rank highly in several categories, American giant Walmart has become a trusted destination for low priced goods in general – particularly for housewares and children’s clothing.

Most Trusted Retailers by Region

Retail Category

British Columbia

Prairies

(AB, SK, MB)

Ontario

Quebec

Atlantic

(NS, NB, PE, NL)

Auto Parts & Accessories

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire

Canadian Tire

Baby / Children’s Clothing

Inconclusive

Carter’s / The Children’s Place / Walmart (tie)

Carter’s / The Children’s Place (tie)

Walmart

Carter’s / Walmart (tie)

Beauty & Personal Care

Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart

Jean Coutu

Shoppers Drug Mart

Clothing / Fashion

Hudson’s Bay

Hudson’s Bay

Hudson’s Bay

Hudson’s Bay / Reitmans / Sears / Simons (tie)

Mark’s / Reitmans / Walmart / Winners (tie)

Department Store

Hudson’s Bay

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart

Electronics

Best Buy

Best Buy

Best Buy

Best Buy

Best Buy

Footwear

Hudson’s Bay / Nike / Payless (tie)

Sport Chek

Payless / Sport Chek (tie)

Yellow

Sport Chek

Furniture

The Brick

The Brick

Leon’s

Tanguay

Leon’s

Health / Pharmacy

Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug
Mart

Jean Coutu

Shoppers Drug Mart

Home Décor

HomeSense

HomeSense

HomeSense

HomeSense / Bouclair (tie)

HomeSense

Home Improvement / Hardware

Home Depot

Home Depot

Home Depot

Rona

Home Hardware

Housewares / Kitchenware

Walmart

Walmart

Canadian Tire / Walmart (tie)

Walmart

Walmart

Mass Merchant

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart

Walmart

Sporting Goods

Sport Chek

Sport Chek

Sport Chek

Sports Experts

Sport Chek

Supermarket / Grocery

Real Canadian Superstore

Real Canadian Superstore

No Frills

IGA

Atlantic Superstore / Sobeys (tie)

Toys & Games

Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us

How brands build and maintain trust

Canadian shoppers also revealed what determines their trust in a retailer. Canadian shoppers expect consistently strong value (often driven by low prices or high-value promotions), a strong selection of quality products, and a consistent and convenient shopping experience from their most trusted retailers.

Shoppers learn what to expect from a retailer, and the experience at their local store will define their view of the brand. One Ontario shopper gave their reason for citing No Frills as their most trusted supermarket: “The prices are cheap for a variety of foods, and [the stores are] mostly clean, depending on the branch. They have a wider selection of international grocery items.” Meanwhile, a Sobey’s shopper wrote: “I trust [Sobey’s] the most due to overall cleanliness, friendly staff, and great tasting, fresh products.”

Another method of increasing trust that has proven effective and important for numerous retail brands is leveraging recommendations from shoppers’ peers via unfiltered reviews, with 6 in 10 shoppers saying they regularly look to reviews to support their shopping decisions.

“When real problems arise with products or the shopping experience, it is important that retail and other brands react transparently and quickly to take responsibility and address the issue,” added Levy.

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