Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Grocery Sector Needs to Adapt to Disruptive Forces like Amazon, Conference Hears

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Grocery Sector Needs to Adapt to Disruptive Forces like Amazon, Conference Hears

Article excerpt

Grocery stores need to adapt, conference hears

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TORONTO - The disruptive forces that could result in half of Western Europe's large grocers disappearing by 2025 are making their way to Canada, a retail conference heard Wednesday.

Discount outlets and online entrants such as Amazon pose a genuine threat to Canada's grocery chains, said Fred Thomas-Dupuis of the consulting firm Oliver Wyman.

But food retailers have plenty of time to adapt and compete by driving down costs and prices, considering buying products together like their European counterparts have done and experimenting with online offerings, he said.

"Europe can be used as a crystal ball of sorts," he said at the Retail Conference of Canada conference.

"These things take time, and the disruption isn't that far out, and therefore, it's important to start now. …

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