RCC Victory on behalf of apparel retailers in PEI - Retail Council of Canada
Coronavirus | Prince Edward Island

RCC Victory on behalf of apparel retailers in PEI

May 4, 2020

RCC victory on behalf of apparel retailers

After pushing the PEI government for over a week, RCC has convinced the government to change its rule for Phase 2 of the reopening plan and allow customers to try on apparel, in-store.  This change was communicated to RCC today but it may not be stated publicly until tomorrow.  This is great news for apparel retailers as it means that they will be able to conduct business in store (including use of change rooms to try on apparel), beginning on May 22.  The initial rule would have allowed all retailers to open on May 22 but would have prevented customers from trying on apparel (e.g. clothing, footwear, sports equipment, etc.) until Phase 3 which is not scheduled to begin until at least June 12.  RCC was finally able to convince the government that the initial rule was unfair given that customers need to try on most apparel items before deciding to make a purchase.  RCC successfully argued that apparel retailers can practice physical distancing in-store while still conducting business.  RCC pointed out that online retailers from outside Canada have continued to sell apparel to Islanders throughout the pandemic.  Island retailers pay taxes in PEI and employ Islanders thus, the government needed to change this rule to allow them a chance to compete.

To recap: There will be no specific rules regarding customers trying on apparel, using change rooms, touching product, returning product.  The rule that matters is in maintaining two metres of physical distancing.  It will be up to retailers to detail their plans of how to conduct business in a COVID-19 world, in their operational plan (see below).

Operational plan template

As PEI begins loosening its COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the government wants all businesses to understand that it will not be business as usual.  Regardless of whether a business has been open throughout the pandemic or they are about to reopen, ALL businesses are required to complete an operational plan.  Inspectors will be asking businesses to produce an operational plan during any inspections.

The PEI government has provided an operational plan template to assist PEI businesses.  View the operational plan template.

The government understands that businesses may have already developed operational plans that differ from PEI’s template.  Differing plans are still acceptable however, the PEI government asks that if a business has an operational plan that is different from the template, the business should highlight the sections of the plan that correspond with the information requested in the template.

Once a business completes its operational plan, it can be submitted to the government at envhealth@ihis.org for review and guidance, if needed.  Otherwise, the business simply needs to have the plan at the business site, in order to provide to an inspector, if requested.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Jim Cormier, Director (Atlantic) at:  jcormier@retailcouncil.org or (902) 422-414