You have surely noticed the various conversation, opinions, thoughts from a wide spectrum of pundits on the price of a barrel of oil, and gas at the pumps.
Lets take a look at this from a Canadian perspective:
Price of Oil:
Its not a good thing for Canada, cheap oil has more negative than positive implications for Canada. Alberta is the 3rd largest auto market after Ontario and Quebec. We all know where vehicle sales in Alberta are headed.
Lower Canadian Dollar:
The lower Canadian dollar is a minor buffer for the lower price of oil. On par $100 US was $100 Canadian now $50 US is $57 Canadian (rounded amounts). At the same time the lower Canadian dollar is increasing prices of a myriad of items that a family requires, from food, clothes, even iTunes.
Its possible that with the imminent closing of Target, other retailers will be very tempted to raise their prices to compensate for the lesser competition, and cheaper gas.
Savings at the Pump:
Agreed we are all saving at the pump, but CMS (Citizen Main Street) is astute to quickly grasp that the savings at the pump are required elsewhere with price increases from the lower Canadian dollar. Save at the pump and pay more everywhere else.
The auto market is inexorably shifting from sedans to utility vehicles, especially smaller versions. Is it the price of gas or a consumer preference? Its easy to correlate cheaper gas with increased sales of utility vehicles especially when the market is already headed in the direction of utility.
If pick up sales remain the same in 2015, we can says that cheaper gas perhaps was a motivator. At the same time how much of an influence is cheap gas on the enduring pick up love affair?
The oil sands and fracking in the US have disrupted the established order of oil. Target was a disrupter in Canada signaling its vector, strategy to the competition. The same with oil sands and fracking. The competition gets aggressive and disruptive in its own fashion.
There is not an infinite, endless supply of oil on the planet. Technology has enabled disruption. A fracking well has a life expectancy of 12 months. The oil sands have been there for centuries...in both cases they make sense at a certain price level. In the meantime oil remains a finite resource...with over time an escalating price.
Not Canada, not the Canadian consumer, not Alberta, not the Canadian oil industry, not the Canadian auto industry. Canadian retailers will win further...developing economies will win.