North America is over 9.4 Million square miles (or 24.3 million KM if you’re outside the US) and includes several countries with different cultures, geographies, and economies. Despite these differences, there are still plenty of similarities among people across international borders. In the spirit of seeking out those similarities, we started looking through TraQline data for the US, Canada, and Mexico markets to see which retailers consumers prefer in each country. While consumers largely prefer homegrown retailers, there are plenty of comparisons to be drawn between the three countries.
Americans and Canadians tend to favor big-box and department stores. In the US, this is evidenced by consumers choosing retailers such as Sears, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. Rounding out the top 5 are Walmart and Harbor Freight.
Up north in Canada, consumers like their local chain Canadian Tire most. Like the US, Home Depot comes in 2nd in Canada, followed by Amazon.com. Quebecois chain RONA (which was recently acquired by Lowe’s) and Walmart round out the top five.
Mexican shoppers favor retailers such as Home Depot, Truper, and local neighborhood hardware stores. Walmart and other large stores round out the top five.
The chart below breaks down the dollar share that the top five retailers claimed in the US, Canada, and Mexico:
One thing that all three countries have in common is a preference for homegrown retailers. For more than a century, Sears has been considered a quintessentially American brand. Canadian Tire has a 95-year history beginning in Ontario, and RONA was founded in Quebec more than 70 years ago. Truper has a 50-year history as both a retailer and manufacturer of tools, and both their hand tools & power tools are the top selling brands in Mexico.
When it comes to small appliances, shoppers across all three countries choose to spend their money at Walmart. It’s number one for both the United States and Mexico, and number two in Canada (where it loses out to Canadian Tire).
In the United States, Amazon.com comes in second for small appliances. E-commerce’s convenience is helping to boost Amazon’s position above retailers like Target and Sears (3rd and 4th in the US, respectively), and stores like Bed Bath and Beyond (5th) that specialize in smaller appliances and household goods.
Amazon.com also makes Canada’s top 5 small appliance retailers, coming in at number 4. Canadians are more likely to buy at Canadian Tire, Walmart, or Costco. Best Buy rounds out the top 5 list for Canadian shoppers.
Mexican shoppers may spend more at Walmart for small appliances, but the rest of the retailers they favor are all national retailers. Liverpool and Coppel department stores cater to mid-to-high end brands, Bodega Aurrera is owned by Walmart, and Soriana is a big box store, along the same lines as Walmart or Bodega Aurrera.
The chart below breaks down the dollar share that the top five preferred retailers claimed in the US, Canada, and Mexico:
When it comes to consumer electronics, the US and Canada have more in common with one another than they do with Mexico. The top 4 preferred retailers are the same – Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon.com, and Costco. Though for #5, where Americans choose to spend at Target, Canadians go to other appliance and electronic stores.
In Mexico, Walmart reigns supreme for consumer electronics. It sits at the top of the retailer list, and its offshoots, Sam’s Wholesale and Bodega Aurrera are numbers 4 and 5, respectively. Liverpool and Coppel make up 2nd and 3rd place for Mexican shoppers.
The chart below breaks down the dollar share that each of the top five retailers claimed in the US, Canada, and Mexico:
Even when shoppers in the US, Canada, and Mexico have different preferences for where they shop, they tend to shop in the same kinds of stores. Stores like Walmart, Sears, or Costco, which all offer products across a large variety of categories. Are you operating an outlet that spans multiple countries? We’d love to hear about your experiences in how people like to shop in your stores. Contact us on LinkedIn or Twitter today!