The shopping experience

The streets of downtown Toronto can be surprisingly serene on a weekend afternoon, but it seems that you never have to look far for signs of the city’s urban liveliness. For me, the shopping hubs of the city are the places I turn for a reliable dose of this energetic buzz.


The crowded aisles of the St. Lawrence Market on a typical Saturday.

The St. Lawrence Market, for instance, is hectic and jam-packed on any given Saturday, filled to the brim with locals and tourists alike. Multiple generations come together in this bustling meeting spot, browsing the aisles for fresh produce, handmade jewellery or decadent sweets.

Several blocks away, a similarly chaotic vibe fills the Toronto Eaton Centre, where stores overflow with energetic shoppers perusing the racks for new styles and great deals.

Like all of Toronto’s shopping centres, markets and trendy strips of boutiques, these settings act not only as places of business for the hundreds of merchants within them, but as popular social meeting spots for people in the city. Shopping, it seems, never fails to bring a city’s diverse population together.

At its core, retail may simply be about selling a product to a consumer. But in reality, the retail industry encompasses much, much more. Elements of marketing, customer service, creativity and design come together to create the social experience of shopping.

I’ve always been fascinated by all of these elements of the highly competitive retail business, and the ways they mesh with the complex science of consumer behaviour. And as the web presents retailers with a slew of new challenges and opportunities in the way they sell their products, the industry is changing quicker than ever.

This blog will explore all aspects of Toronto’s ever-evolving retail scene. I’ll cover store openings, unique shops, marketing tactics, industry trends, noteworthy websites and more. Check back often for the latest industry news. And in the meantime, happy shopping.

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