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Joanne Haywood (IDC)
416.673.2284 office
647.444-2284 cell

Sally Ritchie (IDC RCC)
416 922-6678 ext. 228office
416 922-8011 cell

Capital Spending is on the Upswing with IT Consuming a Significant Portion of Overall Investment

-April 5, 2012-


International Data Corp Canada (IDC Canada) and Retail Council of Canada (RCC) today announced the results of their first survey of the perspectives of Canadian retail executives on Information Technology (IT).

The 2012 survey is part of IDC Canada and RCC’s newly formed relationship to provide RCC members with Canadian specific technology research, as well as access to IDC's global retail insights research. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and are leveraging multiple channels to carry out their shopping activities, including shopping not only online and in brick and mortar stores, but in all channels at once by walking the store aisles with a smart phone to compare prices, obtain the best deal, leverage coupons and order online from another supplier in some cases. Retailers in turn, are feeling the heat - with immense pressure to differentiate themselves based on customer's experience with products and services. Retailers are also feeling the pressure to support product use with applications and infrastructure that facilitate innovation, rather than impede change.

The overwhelming trend is towards increased capital and technology spending, emphasizing activities that improve customer and employee engagement, as well as making efficient and effective use of this spending and investment.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 42% of respondents will increase capital spending for 2012 with a 44% increase in technology spending.
  • Workforce management and mobile applications are leading investment areas in the next 12 months.
  • Retailers have also expressed interest in cloud based solutions for applications that are inherently web based/ or non-core retail (including infrastructure, HR and other back office systems). These will be the first to move to the cloud.
  • Canadian retailers seem more willing to outsource solutions than US retailers, this willingness may position them for bigger leaps in innovation.
  • Mobile ranked very high with more than 20% looking at leveraging generic smart handheld phones, tablets as well as retail specific mobile devices.
  • Retailers are generally driving traffic using various mechanisms, some of which are traditional. Most find that they need to leverage all avenues to some degree, depending on diversified consumer segments with various needs: direct mail, online ads, digital and group buying coupons, location-based offers, QR code-based marketing, in-store marketing, and social media.

Canadian retail executives concur that the speed at which specific technologies, namely mobile, bring your own device, social networking, and productivity applications are evolving at the consumer level and not at the enterprise level, pose considerable challenges for retailers.

IDC Canada Retail Insights will be presenting highlights from this survey in addition to a more in-depth mobile survey at upcoming Canadian Retail events. Initial in-store assisted selling results to be showcased at a retailer event on April 26th 2012, Toronto's Arcadian Court. Contact nmanji@idccanada for more information or Register Here.


Leslie Hand

Research Director, IDC Retail Insights
  • "The quickening pace of retail innovation is becoming an increasing threat to Canadian retailers as local competition grows from global retailers and changes the expectations of Canadian consumers."
  • "US Retailers like Nordstrom’s have increased capital spending by over 20% and IT is consuming over 20% of total capital spend."
  • "Canadian retailers are responding by expanding their IT investment in the face of Target’s planned entrance in the Canadian market. Those with decreasing capital could fall behind if the majority of the market is investing."

Diane J. Brisebois

President & CEO, RCC
  • "We are witnessing a significant shift in how Canadian consumers use technology to influence, as well as make their purchases."
  • "As we can see from the survey results, Canadian retailers are responding with an increased desire to enhance the consumer experience, remain competitive, and drive increased service and value by engaging with the consumer in more innovative ways.”

Lars Goransson

General Manager & Group VP, IDC Canada
  • "We are delighted to partner with RCC, this quick pulse survey is one vehicle to help meet the needs of today's time-constrained Retailers that are under continue pressure to leverage technology to help drive business strategy."
  • "IDC will also extend a special subscription offer to RCC to access our family of Retail Industry research. The programs offer personalized, global insight into the alignment of technology with an organization's business goals to increase the reliability of IT investments and support effective technology decision making."

IDC Canada and RCC’s Quick Look web-based survey of Canadian retailers took place between Dec 2011 and Jan 2012.

Please contact Joanne Haywood to arrange an interview and/or for additional quotes.


Retail Council of Canada (RCC) has been the Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963. We speak for an industry that touches the daily lives of Canadians in every corner of the country — by providing jobs, career opportunities, and by investing in communities. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats across Canada, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants. RCC is a strong advocate for the Canadian retail sector and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information. Visit


International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting


IDC Retail Insights assists retail businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the retail industry. For more information, please visit and the IDC Retail Insights Community.


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