Canadian Independent Grocers Financial Survey Released

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FMS Announces First Annual Results at Grocer Innovations Canada Food Show in Toronto

FMS Financial Management Systems LTD and The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG) released the results of the 2015 Canadian Independent Grocers Financial Survey during the Grocery Innovations Canada food show in Toronto, ON. This was the first year that FMS and CFIG have published a report that examines the financial performance and challenges within the Canadian Independent Grocery industry. The survey covers the 2014 fiscal year and compares all major findings to the results of polled US grocers.

Canadian independents managed to outperform their US counterparts in nearly every category polled in this year’s survey, but still faced many of the same obstacles. Same store sales were up 3.1 percent in Canada, which overcame the pace of food-purchased-from-stores inflation (2.5 percent in 2014).

"In an ever-challenging environment, with competition, consolidation and razor-thin margins, Canadian independent grocers continue to be the innovators and trailblazers that differentiate themselves from competitors," said Thomas A. Barlow, president and CEO of CFIG.

Margins slipped for both Canadian and US grocers, and expenses increased over 2013.

Competition from other retailers was Canadian grocers’ main concern for their business in 2014, especially from supercentres. The survey showed that 80.5 percent of respondents have a Walmart supercentre in their direct market area.

Other notable results from the survey:

  • Canadian grocers reported fewer weekly transactions per store and a slightly lower transaction size than their American counterparts. Canadian independents are less likely to have self-checkout, but more likely to offer express lanes.
  • Inventory turns for the total store stood at 17.0 for both the US and Canada. Canadian independents have notably higher turns in produce. At the same time, total store shrink for all of North America dropped to 3.0 percent, but Canadian independents have much lower shrink, at 2.2 percent.
  • Canadian independents show a higher commitment to capital expenditures, especially remodeling. Capital expenditures among Canadian retailers averaged 4.93 percent, versus 1.30 percent for the U.S.-based independents.

The 2015 Canadian Independent Grocers Financial Survey is based on data from 20 Canadian companies and 153 total companies in North America.

About FMS: FMS Financial Management Systems, LTD ( provides independent retail grocery and independent supermarket operations with financial, accounting and consulting services such as industry benchmarking, best practices and mission-critical decision support. The parent company FMS Solutions Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries provide services to over 3500 retailers in Canada, The United States, and the Caribbean. FMS is proud to be an associate member of CFIG and a Distribution Canada, Inc. supplier of record.

About CFIG: The Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers ( is a non-profit trade association founded in 1962 which continues to be a collaborative community, equipping and enabling independent, franchised and specialty grocers for sustainable success. We act as a strong and united voice for over 4,000 independent grocery retailers, across Canada, providing programs for operational excellence and fostering solid relationships among retailers and suppliers.


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