In response by letter and email to questions by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) on various issues concerning application of the Shopping Hours Act, the Government of Quebec has clarified two aspects of the Act.

1. The Act does not apply to sales between businesses.

Any sales by members to a company, a contractor or other person in business may be transacted outside the shopping hours contemplated in the Act, provided that “regular” consumers do not have access to the sales floor area, and are unable to view and compare prices. For example, a construction contractor may enter your store through a side door at 6:30 AM to purchase materials, as long as the main door is not open or accessible to consumers.

2. The Act does not prohibit restaurants or cafés from being open inside a store.

If you have a store that includes a restaurant or café, it may remain open outside the shopping hours contemplated in the Act, provided that consumers do not have physical access to the floor area where sales are transacted, and are unable to compare prices. For example, your store’s café is open but it is impossible to enter the sales floor or view prices before legal shopping hours begin.

Enclosed is a copy of the letter from the Ministry confirming the interpretation issued on the matter of sales outside legal shopping hours for businesses. (French only)

If you have questions or are still concerned about the meaning of the Act, please feel free to call Jean-Guy Côté, director of government relations and public affairs, at 514-982-0267, extension 332, or email jgcote@cccd-rcc.org