With COVID-19 cases surging across the country, Canadians are seeing a second wave of lockdown restrictions. Here’s a breakdown of the new announcements and what it means for retailers:

  • Alberta Alberta rolled out new restrictions on November 24th that prohibit all social gatherings in people’s homes and made masks mandatory for all indoor workplaces in the province’s two largest cities. Premier Jason Kenney opted to keep businesses, including retail and clothing stores, open with 25 per cent capacity. Kenney said his government will re-evaluate the new restrictions on Dec. 15 and impose stricter measures if case numbers continue to rise at the current rate.
  • B.C.  The province has introduced a mandatory mask policy which applies to indoor public spaces and retail environments as well as a social lockdown, which means people only socialize with those in their own household, until December 7.
  • Manitoba – The province is in lockdown banning social gatherings, non-essential businesses are restricted to curb side pick up or delivery, essential stores are limited to 25% capacity, this will be in effect for a minimum of four weeks.
  • Ontario – Toronto and Peel regions have been moved into lockdown until December 21, in-person shopping will be prohibited with exceptions for essential retailers which are limited to 50% capacity, all non-essential retail stores are limited to curb side pickup only; York, Durham, Waterloo Hamilton, and Halton regions are all in the red zone which allows most businesses to remain open with strict public health measures in place.
  • Nunavut – The province is in a two week lockdown which closes schools, libraries, fitness centres, government offices, personal services, and non-essential businesses, this will be in effect until December 2.

Retailers are already reeling from the blows COVID has dealt them, said Retail Council of Canada president Diane Brisbois. Revenues have already been hammered because of COVID-related closures and restrictions, as well as lower demand, further restrictions risks putting some retailers out of business forever, Brisebois said. “It will be devastating. The last two months of the year are vital. Even more-so this year.” said Brisebois, adding that some retailers earn up to 70% of their annual revenue during the last two months of the year.

Retail analyst Lisa Hutcheson agreed that even more businesses are on their last legs. “A lot of places have been hanging on for the holiday shopping season. There’s no question that more restrictions would make it harder for some of them to survive,” said Hutcheson.

Source: Globe and Mail
Source: Caledon Enterprise
Source: Globe and Mail
Source: National Post
Source: CTV News
Source: CP 24
Source: CTV News