TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - The majority of Canada's retail
businesses are prepared for the disappearance of the penny and intend
to use the federal government's proposed rounding guidelines when it
begins, according to a survey of small, mid and large retailers by
Retail Council of Canada (RCC).
"On February 4, most of Canada's retailers will be ready at the cash
register to handle the phase out of the penny phase-out," said Diane J.
Brisebois, President and CEO, RCC. "While we have been supportive of
this initiative all along, we are grateful that the government delayed
implementing the changes until this point, as retailers have needed the
extra time to prepare."
Brisebois went on to say that these changes are voluntary and that she
expects retailers' decisions will be focussed on doing what is best for
their customers. While it seems that the majority will follow the
federal government's proposal, many will continue to make exact change
until the supply of pennies runs out. Others will choose to employ
other approaches to providing change to their customers. She also
noted that rounding only affects cash transactions and does not affect
electronic forms of payment such as credit and debit transactions.
The Canadian Mint stopped producing pennies in the spring of 2012. RCC
advocated for the phase-out of the penny to be delayed until after the
busy holiday season, and the government agreed. On February 4, the Mint
will stop circulating pennies to financial institutions and will also
be encouraging them to send back any pennies that they have on hand.
RCC surveyed its members as to: their readiness for the phase-out of the
penny; the approach they intend to use for rounding; and the potential
costs to their business. The survey found that 55 per cent of retailers
are prepared for the phase-out. It also found that 74 per cent of small
retail businesses and 75 per cent of medium businesses will round
manually at the cash register. However, 63 per cent of large businesses
will be changing their point of sale systems. It could cost them more
than $100,000 to do so.
"While smaller businesses will do the rounding manually at first and
then determine the appropriate course of action, both in relation to
cost and customer service, it is not a practical approach for large
retailers with thousands of employees," said Brisebois. "This of course
represents a substantial cost for retailers to enable them to maintain
standardization and meet consumers' needs and expectations."
To answer questions pertaining to the penny phase-out, RCC has created a
webpage "The Penny Stops Here". It contains Frequently Asked Questions,
such as how the government's proposed rounding policy would work, and
useful links for further information. http://www.retailcouncil.org/advocacy/national/penny.asp
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:
VP Communications and Marketing, RCC
416 922-0553 ext. 228
416 574-2552 (Mobile)