Critical time for retailers

TORONTO, Dec. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is concerned for all those who have been affected by the winter ice storm and consequent power outages, difficult driving conditions and transit interruptions in many communities across Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada.  RCC and its members applaud the efforts of local first responders, utility and municipal personnel who are working tirelessly to maintain services in our communities.

Among those hit hard by this winter ice storm are merchants operating in the affected areas. The potential impact of the ice storm is very significant for retail merchants, considering that spending in December represents $30 to $40 billion in sales in Canada. "This issue isn't just about seasonal shopping, it also impacts grocery shopping and the ability to put food on the table for holiday celebrations," says Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO, RCC.

For many retailers, particularly small and mid-sized businesses, who may have had their sole outlet or outlets affected, these December sales can mean the difference between ending the year in the black or the red.  Merchants across the affected regions are doing everything they can to service customers up to the close of Christmas Eve and again following the statutory holiday on Christmas Day.

Most municipalities permit opening hours until Midnight on December 24, providing consumers with opportunities to complete their holiday and grocery shopping.  RCC urges consumers to check with their local retailers to see if hours have been extended in response to the difficulties created by the ice storm.

Should power outages continue longer than anticipated, RCC expects that municipalities in the affected areas will demonstrate flexibility over opening hours for the balance of December.

Retail Council of Canada (www.retailcouncil.org) is the Voice of Retail. Founded in 1963, RCC is a not-for-profit association which represents more than 45,000 stores of all retail formats, including department, grocery, independent merchants, regional and national specialty chains, and online merchants.

SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada

For further information:

Devon Pool
Retail Council of Canada
dpool@retailcouncil.org
416.801.3204


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