GSI Commerce Inc. plans to expand into the Canadian market, which includes opening a new fulfillment center and a long-term agreement with one of Canada's leading retailers.
“Establishing a physical presence in Canada with our new fulfillment center will enable us to better serve the country's leading retailers and brands,” said Michael G. Rubin, chairman and CEO of GSI. “We currently support clients with solutions that address the special requirements of this marketplace such as multilingual sites and Canadian currency…”
The new fulfillment center will be located near Toronto and is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2009. The new fulfillment center is a component of GSI's fiscal year 2009 planned capital expenditure program. The company continues to expect to spend no more than $50 million in capital expenses in the current fiscal year.
GSI also plans to hire local employees to work in the center, which will house fulfillment, customization and potentially customer care services. The combination of these services with the company's robust e-commerce technology, make GSI well-positioned to serve Canadian retailers and international brands that desire a cutting-edge solution to support their e-commerce and multichannel goals.
Canadian business-to-consumer e-commerce sales are growing and expected to reach $11.1 billion by 2012. Reports indicate that Canadian online sales from 2007 to 2012 are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9%, almost double the U.S. rate.
The Forzani Group Ltd. has selected GSI's platform and services as the backbone of its multichannel strategy. Forzani Group, based in Calgary, Alberta, is the first Canadian retailer to partner with GSI. Under the seven-year agreement, GSI will provide Forzani Group with e-commerce technology, order management, fulfillment, and customer care services. Forzani Group has chosen gsi interactive(SM), the digital agency of GSI, to provide design services.
With 2009 retail sales revenues of $1.6 billion Canadian dollars, Forzani Group operates more than 560 stores across Canada under a number of brand names, including Sport Chek. Sport Chek will be the first of the company's Web stores to launch on the GSI platform. “E-commerce was the next step in our multichannel strategy. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of solutions and determined we wanted to partner with a best-of-breed platform provider. GSI was the top choice given their technology, comprehensive services, e-commerce expertise and their commitment to serving Canadian retailers and our customers,” said John Hould, senior vice president of Forzani Group.