Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is pleased with the Ontario’s government’s announcement today that mall retailers outside the GTA can begin reopening this Friday.
We remain disappointed that malls within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Niagara and Windsor are still required to remain closed. Malls are no different than streets lined with stores, save for the fact that they have a roof. The fundamental goal of providing a safe environment for employees and customers can be achieved in both settings. In fact, malls may offer a more manageable environment than sidewalks since controls can be used for physical distancing, occupancy, traffic flow and sanitization.
We encourage the government to promptly provide a target date for all regional reopenings as those left out of today’s announcement represent a substantial number of businesses who have been unable to operate their mall stores for 76 days and counting. With limited or no income from sales, retailers who are forced to remain closed don’t have the required cashflow to cover fixed expenses. Thankfully, the government’s signal today that a commercial eviction moratorium is forthcoming is much welcomed news but the overall desire is for all retailers to get back to doing business.
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $377 billion in 2018. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org