Canada's Most Trusted Retailers

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Canada's Most Trusted Retailers

By Jamie Grill-Goodman - 04/12/2016
Market research firm BrandSpark International announces the 2016 BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards winners for Retailers across Canada. More than 7,500 respondents participated in the BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study between November 2015 and March 2016 to determine the winners. Survey participants named the retailers that they consider their "Most Trusted" in 16 household and personal shopping categories.

"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 neighbors."

The study found several strong retailers lead their categories from coast to coast, including Canadian Tire (auto parts and accessories), HomeSense (home dcor), 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 dcor (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.

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.

Click here for the retail winners both nationally and regionally. 

The BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards previously announced brand trust results for 143 consumer packaged goods (CPG) product categories.