The Road to Recovery: New guidance for retail sector launches today - Retail Council of Canada
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The Road to Recovery: New guidance for retail sector launches today

May 20, 2020

Retail Council of Canada and Boston Consulting Group providing free critical resource to all retailers as the industry adjusts to the “new reality” of COVID-19

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) today released “Road to Retail Recovery Playbook – Helping Canadian Retailers Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis,” guidance to help retailers, large and small, plan for the broader reopening of retail stores across the country.  The Playbook leverages global best practices for a diverse range of retail formats with the fundamental aim of ensuring a safe environment for employees and customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reopening the retail sector and putting our economy back on track will require new strategies, new rules, and new competencies,” said Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, RCC.  “The BCG and RCC partnership has allowed us to address these challenges and provide a strong roadmap for retailers large and small across Canada.”

Retail’s contribution to Canada’s prosperity cannot be overstated – it comprises over 145,000 retail establishments employing 2.1 million Canadians.  As retailers seek to reopen, questions remain as to how to safely guide both customers and employees. The Playbook includes key retail operational components such as customer health and safety, employee wellbeing, retail operations, merchandising and marketing, store network and channel, and finances.  Some of the protocols included are:

  • Customer and employee health monitoring
  • Checkout and payment
  • Protective equipment
  • Supply chain and inventory management
  • Labour planning
  • Store deliveries and vendor visits
  • Trying or sampling products
  • Advertising and communications
  • Online fulfillment
  • Delivery options
  • Trials and returns
  • Liquidity management
  • Rent renegotiations

“The retail sector in Canada ranks as the country’s single largest private-sector employer, and now more than ever, the RCC team is tirelessly committed to maintaining and growing the prosperity of this sector in Canada,” said Matthew MacKenzie, Partner and Managing Director, BCG. “BCG shares this commitment, and we feel obliged to bring our local and global expertise in retail and crisis management to bear to support the RCC and its members through this challenging time.”

RCC will continue to play an active role across the country by sharing the Playbook and retail expertise as governments continue to shape and introduce recovery plans.

This resource is free to everyone. Retailers and business owners can go to to download.

For more information or to schedule media interviews, contact:
Michelle Wasylyshen

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 2019. 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.

About Boston Consulting Group

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we help clients with total transformation—inspiring complex change, enabling organizations to grow, building competitive advantage, and driving bottom-line impact.

To succeed, organizations must blend digital and human capabilities. Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives to spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting along with technology and design, corporate and digital ventures—and business purpose. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, generating results that allow our clients to thrive.