Shopping Discussion

Which retailer in Canada will go bankrupt next?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 25th, 2020 5:25 pm

Poll: Which canadian retailer will go bankrupt next?

  • Total votes: 735. You have voted on this poll.
Aldo
 
69
9%
Le Chateau
 
261
36%
Lowe's
 
35
5%
The Source
 
150
20%
Canada Computers
 
41
6%
Home Hardware
 
30
4%
The Brick
 
46
6%
Léon's
 
33
4%
Winners
 
17
2%
Staples
 
53
7%
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14564 posts
11773 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: The poor quality of Canadian restaurant and retail chains is directly attributed to what I mentioned earlier -- crazy loyal customer base that won't budge no matter how bad they get, and no fear of foreign competition, because so few invaders manage to gain a foothold. Five Guys is a rare case (some on this forum wrote them off right away due to their high prices and lack of promos/combos/loyalty program; I think you all know which "wiseguy" I'm talking about), where they barged in and DIDN'T get snuffed out by the competition; Papa John's (pretty good) and Little Caesars (bad, but still foreign) are more than holding their own against Pizza Pizza and the rest of the bad domestic chains. Starbucks is the rarest of them all, comes in AND stuffs out the incumbent. So if you let the invader kick your ass (like Second Cup did), you must really suck.

The key is that Starbucks did not come here to be complacent - they hold their Canadian locations to the same high standards they do the rest of the chain, and if there's an improvement back home in Seattle (new menu item that's selling, rewards program, promo), they don't hesitate to bring it here (contrast with Popeyes Canada and that stupid sandwich). So when taking on weaklings like Second Cup (who are complacent and didn't even start a rewards program until Starbucks Rewards was already 4 years in) it's no contest. Second Cup had no answer and they will pay the ultimate price for their complacency. Good riddance.

I would love to see foreign companies come in and destroy the following too but I know it'll never happen, due to the above as well as government protectionism:

MTY Shit Restaurants Group (need I say more?)
Loblaws (oh how I wish we could get Wegmans, Meijer, and Trader Joe's)
Recipe Unlimited (all the Cara and Prime crap especially Swiss Chalet nasty sauce, Harvey's, East Side Mario, and the Keg)
Obsidian Group (see above, they're RU Jr. with a sneaky surcharge added to the bill)
Earl's/Joey/Cactus Club/SIR Corp (same crap as RU but charges double)
Boston Pizza (need I say more?)
Crappy Chinese Tire (oh how I wish we could get Pep Boys and Ace Hardware)
Dollarama (oh how I wish we could get Dollar General to go along with Dollar Tree...)
Tim Horton's (we can keep Popeye's and grudgingly BK, and let's get Dunkin instead)
Mary Browns (Chick-Fil-A! Chick-Fil-A!)
the dairy cartel (need I say more?)
the poultry cartel (same)
CF shopping malls (oh how I wish we could have Westfield instead)
Oh goodie ... where do I sign up for my US Citizenship ???

Seriously man ... you are shilling for US Cos at the expense of a whole bunch of Cdn ones

Don’t get me wrong, I love shopping in the US too ... I think everyone has their favourite stores & restaurants there

But I am not ready for the USA to just walk in here and take over

Agree, not all the Cdn Cos on your list are my faves either ... not that should be ... variety is the spice of life

Different people like different things. And that’s fair.

But honestly some of your choices, I would have to say aren’t any better than what we have now ...

Dunkin Donuts and Chick-Fil-A ... America can keep em as far as I care
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14564 posts
11773 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: I'd eat at Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill, or Carrabbas over East Side Mario's any day of the week Smiling Face With Open Mouth
To me the majority of these 4 are all pretty much the same ...
I’d give a slight edge perhaps to Carrabbas
In that I will seek out this middle of the road Italian Family Restaurant when I am stateside
The rest ... including ESM ... I cannot really recall the last time I ate there
(I have ... it would just be rarer ... like months or a full year ago or longer )

Also, America has TONS of these middle of the road Family Favourites
Ruby Tuesday’s, TGIFridays, Chilis, Applebee’s, Cheesecake Factory
Roadhouses too ... every state / region seems to have a chain

We’ve ate at most of them
And deemed most of them are gross

The one exception for us was Ruby Tuesday’s ... cuz we used to like their Salad Bar
But that chain has been closing up restaurants all over America the last 2 years
Many without much notice ... like happened in Watertown & Syracuse

But hey ... maybe the writing was on the wall
Cuz ain’t no way Serve Yourself or Buffet anything is gonna be around now that Covid is calling the shots
Buffets are gonna be gone like the Dodo Bird
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
8949 posts
3295 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: Oh goodie ... where do I sign up for my US Citizenship ???
In the US Dollar General gets robbed so often it's practically a social support program. Chicken is chlorinated and milk is loaded with hormones, The purveyor of the "best" chicken sandwich rates a zero on the Human Rights Campaign’s Buyers Guide. WE NEED MORE!!!

(However I agree they can keep Boston Pizza and their ludicrous pricing.)
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4362 posts
3888 upvotes
lecale wrote: (However I agree they can keep Boston Pizza and their ludicrous pricing.)
Anybody who actually likes Boston Pizza's garbage pizza can get an identical product at Little Caesar's for 1/3 the price and not have to leave a tip....then again I think Little Caesar's Hot and Ready uses more cheese and sauce than Boston Pizza...

Boston Pizza, Tim Horton's and Swiss Chalet -- Canadian complacency at its best/worst. Serve overpriced crap but we keep paying for it and eating it because it's the "patriotic" thing to do.
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Member
Feb 27, 2010
485 posts
264 upvotes
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Anybody who actually likes Boston Pizza's garbage pizza can get an identical product at Little Caesar's for 1/3 the price and not have to leave a tip....then again I think Little Caesar's Hot and Ready uses more cheese and sauce than Boston Pizza...

Boston Pizza, Tim Horton's and Swiss Chalet -- Canadian complacency at its best/worst. Serve overpriced crap but we keep paying for it and eating it because it's the "patriotic" thing to do.
Swiss chalet is not that bad, they got good fries and chicken is not bad
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14564 posts
11773 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Anybody who actually likes Boston Pizza's garbage pizza can get an identical product at Little Caesar's for 1/3 the price and not have to leave a tip....then again I think Little Caesar's Hot and Ready uses more cheese and sauce than Boston Pizza...

Boston Pizza, Tim Horton's and Swiss Chalet -- Canadian complacency at its best/worst. Serve overpriced crap but we keep paying for it and eating it because it's the "patriotic" thing to do.
To be fair all these places fill “a niche” in Cdn society

Sure one can get Little Caesars for less

But Boston Pizza, isn’t just about the pizza despite the name. In many small towns it’s the local sports bar... they have lots of tvs, beer nights, sponsor teams etc

So people go there to eat with the kids, meet friends, watch the games / sports ... or hang out after their own pick up hockey game

Cannot do any of that at Little Caesars ... nor would i want to

Boston Pizza might not have the greatest of pizza (IMO Little Caesars is worse) ... but it gives the customers more options / variety & experiences

You really can not compare these 2 places. They deliver different things / fill a different niche
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14564 posts
11773 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
juve4lfe wrote: Swiss chalet is not that bad, they got good fries and chicken is not bad
Again, another place that fills a niche

Nothing particular special about Rotisserie Chicken (afterall we have plenty of others ... St Hubert, Scores, Chalet BBQ)

The whole thing pretty much originated in Montreal / Quebec.

Now it’s a Cdn mainstay. Inexpensive family dining ... with a predictable product & experience.

PS ... I live in Ontario. I eat Swiss Chalet.
But as an Ex Quebecer, I got to say there is far better places in La Belle Province
Lucky for me living in Eastern Ontario ... we have access to most of them right here (Cornwall thru Ottawa / Kingston )
Farther west just Swiss Chalet, farther east No Swiss Chalet.
I truly live in Rotisserie Chicken heaven
Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4362 posts
3888 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: But I am not ready for the USA to just walk in here and take over
But honestly some of your choices, I would have to say aren’t any better than what we have now ...
Let's do a head-to-head between the USA and bad Canadian equivalents and it'll be abundantly clear why yes, I'm more than ready for those US companies to come in and trash the locals the way Starbucks did. But realistically I know it won't happen.

Let the bloodbath begin!

Harveys/South Street Meatloaf/A&W(Canada) vs Shake Shack/Five Guys/In-N-Out/Whataburger -- no contest
Works Burgers/Webers vs Red Robin/Fuddruckers/Sonic -- no contest
Second Cup/Coffee Culture/Van Houtte/Williams vs Starbucks/Peets/Gloria Jeans/Intelligentsia -- no contest
Pizza Pizza vs Papa John's -- no contest
Mary Browns vs Chick-Fil-A (sandwiches) -- no contest
Mary Browns vs Popeyes/Bojangles/Raising Cane's (fried chicken not in sandwiches) -- no contest
Tim Hortons/Country Style vs Krispy Kreme/Dunkin Donuts (for donuts and coffee) -- no contest
Copacabana/Touro vs Fogo de Chao/Texas de Brazil -- no contest
East Side Mario vs Olive Garden/Carrabbas/Macaroni Grill -- no contest
Vanelli's vs Sbarro -- no contest (Vanelli's really does taste like cardboard)
Mr. Sub vs Firehouse/Jersey Mike's/McAlisters -- no contest
CF malls vs Westfield malls -- no contest
Presidents Choice vs Trader Joe's house labels -- no contest
Loblaws No Name vs ALDI's house labels -- no contest
Loblaws (and all its stupid names) vs Wegmans/Meijer/Kroger -- no contest
Giant Tiger/Dollarama vs Dollar General/Dollar Tree -- no contest
Princess Auto vs Harbor Freight Tools -- no contest
Closeout King/Almost Perfect vs Ollie's Bargain Outlet -- no contest
Wild Wing/All Star Wings/St Louis Bar and Grill vs Buffalo Wild Wings/Anchor Bar/Duffs -- no contest
Mucho Burrito vs Chipotle -- no contest
Manchu Wok vs Panda Express -- no contest
Swiss Chalet/Tim Hortons food vs the garbage dumpster (on fire or not) -- no contest
ACE Bakery vs Martin's Potato Rolls (for burger/hot dog buns) -- no contest
LCBO vs any independent big liquor store -- no contest (especially in pricing)
RONA vs Home Depot -- no contest (USA clearly won that one as RONA gave up and sold out to Lowe's)
Crappy Tire vs Pep Boys -- no contest (I have had my cars serviced by the Boys, no problem)
Chapters/Indigo/Coles vs Amazon/Barnes and Noble -- no contest (remember Heather Reisman tried to get the feds to block Amazon's expansion into Canada...)

Need I go on?
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Aug 13th, 2020 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4362 posts
3888 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: Farther west just Swiss Chalet, farther east No Swiss Chalet.
I get the same feeling when I'm on a USA driving trip and I notice Tim Horton's disappears from the exits and Waffle House appears (on I-75 that happens somewhere near Dayton, OH). I'll laugh and celebrate knowing I won't have to see another damn Tim's for a week or more.
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 13, 2007
4053 posts
4580 upvotes
GTA
submalst wrote: I agree- the analyst doesnt seem to know the reality on the ground. HBC's warehouse is VERY quick. The ship from store is a bit slow, but the warehouse is quick. The HBC app is pretty decent, especially compared other canadian retailers. We know that HBC will close some stores- but that was part of the plan pre-covid19 when they went private and were going to close the under performing stores anyways. I do think HBC is struggling, but they are probably getting some Govt assistance either on rent or wage subsidy. I imagine before year end they will announce alot of store closings, probably keep the major locations open though. I dont think they will go all out on holiday season. Most retailers canceled their falls order as they had no idea what was going to happen.
The bottom line with HBC is how much CEO/part owner Howard Baker and the investors he's partnered with are willing to lose before they decide to pull the plug and sell off the real estate? I'd guess they're hoping for for some kind of recovery sooner than later that would increase the currently depressed value of that real estate.

Their website is awful, particularly the aesthetics. The pictorials of clothing items as an example

Amazon should buy them.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 15, 2008
8949 posts
3295 upvotes
Kfox wrote: The bottom line with HBC is how much CEO/part owner Howard Baker and the investors he's partnered with are willing to lose before they decide to pull the plug and sell off the real estate? I'd guess they're hoping for for some kind of recovery sooner than later that would increase the currently depressed value of that real estate.

Their website is awful, particularly the aesthetics. The pictorials of clothing items as an example

Amazon should buy them.
Amazon in the US is looking at picking up the old Sears and JC Penney locations to turn into fulfillment centres. They'd probably be more interested in the real estate than the retail here tbh.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 3, 2017
2323 posts
1912 upvotes
K-W/Guelph
lecale wrote: Amazon in the US is looking at picking up the old Sears and JC Penney locations to turn into fulfillment centres. They'd probably be more interested in the real estate than the retail here tbh.
Well Amazon has floated opening some brick and mortar retail, I guess if they wanted to trial it anywhere they could start here.
I like credit unions and Honda Civics.
Member with DUCA Credit Union.
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14564 posts
11773 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: I get the same feeling when I'm on a USA driving trip and I notice Tim Horton's disappears from the exits and Waffle House appears (on I-75 that happens somewhere near Dayton, OH). I'll laugh and celebrate knowing I won't have to see another damn Tim's for a week or more.
Lol, to each their own... and perspective

I always am happy when Tim’s begins to appear on the horizon ... it’s a sign, that Canada is not too far off now. For us coming up I-81 that happens just around Binghamton NY.

Maybe not the best coffee ... but It’s good to be able to travel ... but as Dorothy said “there’s no place like home”

Lol and the awful Waffle House ... really ?

Geez I thought you had better taste in food. You disappoint me ... first Little Caesars and now this.

When in the US, I am looking for a diner for breakfast ... NOT A CHAIN ... but a real joint.
The places where the locals go, you get a good fry up, and cup of Joe.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12961 upvotes
juve4lfe wrote:
Swiss chalet is not that bad, they got good fries and chicken is not bad
Over the dozen times I've been there spanning 3 provinces and over a decade I can confidently say I've never had anything that's been good there.
Their chicken is a dumpster fire. May as well be a pigeon that was cooked in a dumpster fire.
Seriously... how do you overcook chicken that badly? I've cooked chicken 3 separate times and have it come out less dry.

Also. Worst. Ribs. Ever.
EastGTARedFlagger wrote: Works Burgers/Webers vs Red Robin/Fuddruckers/Sonic -- no contest
What I wouldn't give for a Fuddruckers that's not in Saskatchewan....
Princess Auto vs Harbor Freight Tools -- no contest
This is about the only thing on the list I'd fight you on.
Not that Harbor Freight isn't neat for basically the same reasons, but Princess Auto while smaller has the same return policy as Costco despite selling Chinese crap.
Compared to Chinese Tire that also sells Chinese crap but has a return policy like China too....

I'd like a harbor freight up here, but I'd 100% keep Princess Auto.
Swiss Chalet/Tim Hortons food vs the garbage dumpster (on fire or not) -- no contest
I legit laughed.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4362 posts
3888 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: I always am happy when Tim’s begins to appear on the horizon ... it’s a sign, that Canada is not too far off now. For us coming up I-81 that happens just around Binghamton NY.
Maybe not the best coffee ... but It’s good to be able to travel ... but as Dorothy said “there’s no place like home”
Lol and the awful Waffle House ... really ?
When in the US, I am looking for a diner for breakfast ... NOT A CHAIN ... but a real joint.
The places where the locals go, you get a good fry up, and cup of Joe.
I'd eat anything at Waffle House over anything at Tim Horton's any day. Even Anthony Bourdain was impressed:



Waffle House cooks food from scratch, to order. TH reheats previously frozen meals that were cooked probably in their Oakville plant several days ago. That's a big difference/

Did I say I like Little Caesar's Hot and Ready? All I said was LCH&R is identical to Boston Pizza at 1/3 the price. I don't go to either place. Have tried them both, but that's it.

I always feel disappointment and despair when I start seeing all those crappy Canadian chains on my way home. Means "Vacation's over, back to crappy GTA food". The complete opposite of the feeling I get when i leave LAX (or SAN) and see In-N-Out Burger, or see the Shake Shack logo in NY.

The only time Tim Horton's makes me smile is when I see a location on one of my trips and it's quite obvious they aren't making money. Which is pretty much anywhere outside Canada. TH with empty parking lots and no cars in the drive thru (even in Buffalo). Or (this one made my trip!) the big Tim Horton's at the Dubai Mall on a busy evening,... and there's nobody in line (while all the other restaurants are rocking)* Just reminds me how Canadians must have palates like cow's backsides (as per Gordon Ramsay) because the rest of the world isn't eating our crap. TH is DOA outside our borders. They don't have the advantage of a "Canadian diaspora" worldwide who will flock there for a taste of home, the way Jollibee does. TH should not be a source of pride but of national shame.

* if you're in the Dubai Mall and can't find the way to the outdoor musical fountain show at the base of the Burj Khalifa -- find Tim Horton's and take the exit closest to it. You'll be right there.

I have recommended in other threads that in the northeast states the best breakfasts are at diners. I also pointed out how, they may be a bunch of independent mom-and-pops but they act like one big chain since they all have the same menu. Meaning, a dozen or more legal-size laminated pages in a rather small font (10 pt or less) to fit all the items.

Here are two I often visit when I'm going to Long Island, NY:

https://airmontdiner.com/ (on my way into the city on I-87 south, near Palisades Center mall)
http://triplecrowndinertogo.com/ (when I'm on Long Island)

Maybe I should have added that to my list:

Sunset Grill/Eggspectation/Cora's/Tim Hortons vs ANY mom-and-pop diner in NYC -- no contest
Friendly reminder #1: The Golden Arches fast food chain is McDonald's, not MacDonald's. Thank you for your attention.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.

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