TORONTO-- Sears Holdings' north-of-the-border business slashed select white goods prices earlier this month to encourage customers to shop on the Canadian side of the border, despite the tempting currency exchange rate with its neighbors to the south.
"Due to the increase in the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar, Sears [Canada] is reducing retail prices and will continue to do so," the company stated. The U.S. dollar on Nov. 2 fell to a multiyear low of roughly $1.07 against the Canadian dollar, according to reports. The continued dollar value decline could entice Canadian shoppers to cross the border to shop in U.S. cities, especially for larger-ticket items. The majority of Canada's population lives in close proximity to the U.S. border.
"Sears has identified categories where Canadians are being disadvantaged given the currency exchange rate and has taken action on prices on these categories, effective Friday, Nov. 2," the company said. Major appliances is one of these identified categories, along with apparel and electronics. One example of Sears Canada's white goods price cuts included a two-day $300 reduction on the Kenmore Elite slide-in range to $1,699.
Sears Canada has also reduced some prices on a permanent basis, the company said. The retailer plans to offer price cuts on more items "across the home" as it moves into the fourth quarter, said a Sears Canada spokesman.
The retailer is also working with its suppliers to lower prices "which more accurately reflect the higher value of the dollar," the company said.
Sears Canada operates 196 retail locations; 179 dealer stores; 61 home improvement showrooms; more than 1,800 catalog merchandise pickup locations; and a nationwide home maintenance, repair and installation network. --Michael Rudnick