Canadian Retailers Recovering Post-COVID-19 – What Was Learned?

In March, when Canada wide physical distancing  measures were announced, essential retail stores continued to operate while other retailers had to temporarily shut down their physical stores.

It seems unreal that it has almost been seven months since all this happened.

As the economy reopens, things seem to be improving every month. According to the analysis from BMO, Canadian retail sales have increased by 23.7% in June. This brings the level of sales to 1.3% above February levels, pointing to a V-shaped recovery.

The good news is that this increase has been across the board with the following categories leading the way:

  • Clothing (+142%)
  • Furniture and home furnishings (+71%)
  • Sporting goods (+65%)
  • Automotive (+53%)

In this blog, we take a look at what the future of retail would look like and share what was learned.

The Rise of E-Commerce

Having e-commerce offerings is more important that ever.

Earlier this year, when brick-and-mortar stores closed their doors – customers turned to online shopping platforms. Brands that had strong e-commerce offerings were able to offer shipping and curbside pick-up options.

According to Statistics Canada, retail e-commerce sales reached a record $3.9 billion in May, a 2.3% increase over April and a whopping 99.3% increase over February!

Stores that did not have an online e-commerce solution, started working on implementing one. CBC shares the story of Jenna Lam, the owner of Early Bird & Worm, a children’s store in Toronto. She integrated e-commerce into her business almost overnight!

Agility is Critical

Another thing that has changed is in-store experiences.

Agility is important in today’s retail environment as you may need to redesign retail experiences to adapt to the changing market needs.

For instance, due to the pandemic, makeup testers were removed from major beauty retail stores.

Sephora quickly responded by launching alternative ways in which customers could experience beauty products, such as through Beauty Advisor assistance as well as a suite of virtual tools.

Retail Automation is an Avenue to Consider

Retail Automation was on a rise even before the pandemic.

Automated retail solutions like vending machines, kiosks, and micro-markets not only provide retailers another revenue channel but also provide them a way to be in more places without incurring significant costs.

So, when physical distancing measures were put into place and the need for contactless interactions increased – automated retail gained even more traction.

Whether you’re looking to redesign in-store retail experiences, explore retail automation, or enhance e-commerce offerings, we can help you ADAPT. We are here to support you in-store, online, with curbside pickup, delivery, and beyond.

Learn more about our solutions by calling 1-877-421-5081 or visiting

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