Women in retail hardest hit during COVID need solutions for recovery

August 26, 2020

New joint initiative between RCC, Shopify and BDC will help women grow their business online

A recent survey conducted by Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) finds that more than a third (37%) of women-owned businesses said it was or would be hard to resume operations during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is almost 15% more than their male counterparts.  While online sales have more than doubled, retail sales remain below normal rates, with clothing stores among the sectors that saw the sharpest declines.

In response, Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Shopify and BDC have teamed up to help women retail entrepreneurs get their businesses online.

“Online sales now represent over 15% of all retail sales in Canada and that number will continue to climb,” says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, RCC. “Retailers without online stores are missing an important opportunity to meet their customers’ needs and to secure additional revenue while stores are closed or have limited capacity.”

Peter Lawler, Executive Vice President, Advisory Services, BDC adds: “Entrepreneurs have enough on their minds trying to keep staff and customers safe, plus keeping their business alive.  Our goal with this joint initiative is to provide practical tools and proven advice to not just survive but thrive through their recovery.”

The initiative will kick-off with a webinar, Future-proof your retail business: Omnichannel during COVID-19,  co-hosted by RCC, BDC and Shopify, to provide practical advice on how to build an online business, optimize it, and get more products into the hands of consumers. Experts will be joined by a panel of women business owners, who will share insights on how they used e-commerce to improve their business to find customers, drive sales, and grow.

Interested entrepreneurs can join the webinar on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 2PM EST. Catherine Addai, Owner of Kaela Kay, and Janel Dickin, Owner of Hye Fashion, will also provide insight on their online experience, challenges, and lessons learned. Webinar participants will be eligible for a free 90-day Shopify trial, access to Shopify POS Pro and a free Tap & Chip card reader for a limited time. Business owners can register at https://futureproofretail.splashthat.com

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer.  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

For more information, contact:
Branka Stavric
[email protected]
Retail Council of Canada

To register for the free webinar:

Future-proof your retail business: Omnichannel during COVID-19

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