Coronavirus fears: Empty shelves as Canadians heed health minister's advice to
Photos showed long lines of shoppers and rows upon rows of empty shelves.
And at Toronto Costco locations, employees were wiping carts with disinfectant
as customers entered the store
the days since Canada’s health minister encouraged people to stockpile supplies
in case of a coronavirus outbreak, photos have emerged of empty shelves at
stores across the country.
Customers took to social media over the weekend to report shortages of hand
sanitizer, toilet paper, meat, canned goods and food staples such as bread and
eggs. Photos showed long lines and rows upon rows of empty shelves. And at
Toronto Costco locations, employees were wiping carts with disinfectant wipes as
customers entered the store.
The employee said that people are buying up, meat, canned goods, paper towels
and toilet paper and the store had sold out of hand sanitizer the day before in
just 30 minutes. “It’s nuts.”
Canadian retailers have experienced both supply issues due to the rail blockades
and a ramping up of demand following the outbreak of COVID-19, said Karl
Littler, senior vice-president of public affairs for the Retail Council of
Canada. But so far, those issues have not resulted in significant shortages as
Canadian food retailers reroute cargo and shift from rail to trucking where
No need to stockpile food despite earlier warning, Manitoba health minister says
"Stockpiling anything at this point is
health minister walked back statements made by his federal counterpart Tuesday
and said there needs to be a coordinated message when it comes to COVID-19.
Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu warned last week that people should
consider stockpiling food and medicine in case of an outbreak, prompting some
stores in various parts of the country to see products like toilet paper and
bottled water fly off the shelves.
“I spoke specifically to the federal health minister about some specific
statements she made recently about stockpiling food,” Manitoba Health Minister
Cameron Friesen said.
“And I just questioned the extent to which, at this point in time, such an
instruction would be helpful. I believe she agreed we need to co-ordinate our
Friesen says it’s never a bad idea to ensure you have medication at home —
especially if it’s been prescribed — but stockpiling anything at this point
COVID-19, protests rattle Metro Vancouver retailers
Clothing retailers spared - for now
Cases in neighboring Washington state have
Canadians worried about future trend
from blockades that prevent goods from freely flowing have yet to hit
most Metro Vancouver stores. Nagarajan said goods will undoubtedly be stuck in
transit on freighters, resulting in some empty shelves, but he doubts that
retailers will suddenly raise prices. Perishable goods shortages are likely to
happen first because, by definition, retailers cannot stockpile those products.
Inventory shortages caused by the COVID-19 virus, in contrast, stem from
two separate phenomena, explained Nagarajan, whose research area is supply-chain
logistics. First comes panic buying and hoarding. Local retailers have
struggled to keep hand sanitizer and face masks in stock since early January,
when reports started circulating about the disease.
Even antiseptics such as rubbing alcohol have been out of stock at many London
Drugs stores in recent weeks.
Vancouver-based clothing retailers appear to be spared from supply-chain
glitches so far.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NYSE:LULU), Aritzia Inc. (TSX:ATZ) and
the Amer Sports division Arc’Teryx all likely shipped spring inventory
out of Chinese factories before the January 25 Lunar New Year, when lockdowns
and quarantines started to ramp up, Lululemon founder and Amer Sports investor
Chip Wilson told Business in Vancouver.
Most companies, including Lululemon, have shifted production out of China and
into other countries, such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh, Wilson
added. Wilson’s son, JJ Wilson, who is a principal at Ride Cycle Club,
told BIV that he does not expect any product shortages because his clothing is
not seasonal and can be stockpiled.
Aritzia similarly has factories in China, according to Panjiva S&P Global Market
Intelligence, but Aritzia told BIV in an email that its executives “aren’t able
to speak to our internal operations at this time.
If the number of cases in B.C. (currently eight)
continues to rise, or concern about the virus ramps up given that in
neighbouring Washington State there were six deaths and 18 reported cases as of
March 2, the retail trend in the province could mirror what happened in
Hong Kong in January, when the virus first started to be detected in that
Retail Council of Canada's Coronavirus Checklist for retailers
Council of Canada (RCC) is in regular contact with the Public Health Agency of
Canada, Health Canada and provincial health authorities to monitor the situation
and will update members as the situation evolves. RCC will also be instituting a
standing weekly call, to which members may dial-in, on which we will provide the
latest information about the disease, the number of regional instances and any
suggested best practices emanating from public health authorities.
Click here to download a checklist for RCC members to help them plan
strategies for managing the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.
Canadian event organizers cancel conferences, grapple with coronavirus outbreak
Organizations across the country are cancelling
conferences, fretting about whether to forge ahead with events and considering
more health-conscious policies as concerns grow over the recent outbreak of a
novel form of coronavirus.
Ottawa-based e-commerce giant Shopify Inc. announced Friday that it had
made the “hard but necessary” decision to cancel its annual Unite conference
that was set to be held in Toronto on May 7.
Meanwhile, coronavirus fears weren’t enough to cause Magna International Inc.
to cancel its investor day on Thursday at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto.
However, the Aurora, Ont.-based auto parts maker did post a sign advising
attendees to avoid shaking hands.
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada also said it is
forging ahead with its annual conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre,
which opens on Sunday and typically attracts more than 25,000 attendees from 130
The organizers of Collision, an annual tech conference that boasts a
lineup of business heavyweights and celebrities, said they were also watching
out for coronavirus fears, despite their event being months away.
Canada now at 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus after three more found
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the first five
cases in B.C. were linked to China, where COVID-19 originated, but the last
seven are related to travel from Iran. Canada now has 33 cases of the new
coronavirus, most of them in Ontario. Officials in B.C. are asking
travellers from China and Iran to isolate themselves for 14 days when they
return home to Canada as the province expanded its advice on Tuesday to help
prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.
'Herd effect': Social media images of empty shelves fuelling panic buying over
coronavirus, says prof
2019's Canadian Retail Crime Epidemic
Crimestoppers for Hire: Can a public challenge with a cash prize dramatically
reduce liquor store thefts in Alberta?
reported about 2,500 liquor store thefts and robberies in 2019, or about six
a day. Calgary police spokesperson Leah Brownridge said that number is an
increase over previous years, but it is not as dramatic as Edmonton’s.
In a new attempt to deal with the problem, Alcanna, the Edmonton Police Service
and the non-profit Edmonton Police Foundation have launched the “Liquor Store
Robberies/Thefts Challenge,” which invites entrepreneurs, business schools
and universities in Alberta and around the world to come up with solutions.
Under the terms of the challenge, a plan that cuts liquor store thefts in
half for 90 consecutive days can win $150,000, and one that reduces thefts by 80
per cent may be eligible for a $250,000 windfall. Another $250,000 is
available to test and institute potential plans. The money is provided by
“This is a new way of thinking,” Chief McFee said of the experimental
outsourcing. “We are confident that there are students and vendors, innovators,
entrepreneurs and companies with the ingenuity to share different perspectives
and explore creative solutions for the benefit of community safety.”
who want to take part will be given access to non-confidential police data,
processes and other relevant information to help them craft possible solutions,
which must be submitted by March 31.
The ideas will then be shortlisted and selected by a committee for in-store
trials beginning in May.
The terms of the challenge list the top priorities as increasing safety for
staff and patrons, and dramatically reducing robberies and thefts without a
significant loss of sales or increase in labour costs.
Edmonton cannabis retailer removes window coverings amid safety concerns
An Edmonton-based cannabis retailer has removed
the window coverings from a number of its stores amid safety concerns. On
Monday, Fire and Flower removed the window coverings from three of its Edmonton
locations: Rice Howard Way, Merchants Row and Westmount. The company said the
decision to take down the coverings came after an armed robbery at one of its
Edmonton stores three weeks ago. The company’s vice president of government and
stakeholder relations said the robbery took place at the end of the night, and
because of the window coverings, staff couldn’t see it coming.
Oceanside RCMP to host crime prevention & awareness seminar for businesses
March 26, from 1-4 p.m. at the Qualicum
Beach Civic Centre
The Oceanside RCMP, in partnership with the
Parksville and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce, will host a crime prevention
and awareness seminar for all local businesses. Guest speakers will include
representatives from the Bank of Canada, B.C. Prosecution Service, the Royal
Bank, and the RCMP. Topics will include counterfeit detection, credit, debit
and point of sale fraud, surveillance footage and recognizing elements to a
criminal offence. This session is being
offered at no cost to all Parksville Qualicum Beach business owners and their
Six in 10 Canadians are more worried about fraud today than ever before
The fraud landscape is transforming and Canadians
across the country are facing scam attempts at every turn. While many Canadians
recognize the various ways fraudsters can strike, 62 per cent say they are
concerned about it more than ever before, according to a new study from
"Our study shows that Canadians are being targeted non-stop through a wide range
of channels – phone, email, text and social media," said Rachel Jolicoeur ,
Director, Fraud Prevention & Partnerships at Interac Corp. "Nearly half of
Canadians or their families (48 per cent) report falling victim to fraud,
emphasizing the importance of Canadians to stop, scrutinize and speak up to
According to the Index, the most commonly-reported scams nationally include
fraudulent emails (45 per cent) and phone scams (44 per cent). Text message
fraud is most prevalent in Quebec (44 per cent) and least prevalent in Atlantic
Canada (19 per cent). In major cities, Montrealers were most likely to have
experienced identity theft (16 per cent) as compared with Torontonians (8
per cent) or Vancouverites (9 per cent).
Further demonstrating the need for increased fraud literacy, seven in 10
Canadians (71 per cent) agree they want to know more about protecting themselves
from fraud. With the right prevention strategies, it is possible for individuals
to arm themselves against the threat of fraud.
Challenges and Opportunities for Cannabis Retail in Canada Post-Legalization
cannabis was obtained in the past year by over half (53%) of cannabis users,
through sources including retailers (55%), online (46%), medical providers
(17%), and homegrown cannabis (6%), signalling new opportunities in retail for a
whole new category. However, legal cannabis in Canada came under criticism
for being close to 60% more expensive than illegal cannabis for the most
part, and not being able to match supply with demand in most provinces.
The disparity was more acute in Ontario, where the legal retail rollout was
slowed by a lottery system, and other provinces reporting more profits. Critics
suggested that only those with the connections and high net-worth were able to
get their foot in the Ontario retail allotment. This year, Ontario's retail
allotment system got replaced with a system of "merit" which critics still
suggest has loopholes in terms of not being able to achieve the province's
target capacity of 1000 stores by 2020.
Provincial Cannabis Retail Models Vary - Customer-Centric Retail Experiences
- Twinning Opportunities in Real Estate with Cannabis
Report: Canadians getting more complacent about fraud
Lowe’s Canada selling Ace Canada business - 104 stores
Victoria's Secret is closing up to 10 stores in Canada by end of year as it
spins off from L Brands
Planet Organic Market ceasing operations, closing all locations
Toronto judge slams Canadian Tire after employee tells court he won’t be paid on
'Tow Truck Turf War' Breaks Out in Grocery Store Parking Lot
Gunshots spray tow truck in Richmond Hill grocery store parking lot
Shots were fired at a tow truck in the parking lot
of a grocery store located in the High Tech Road and Bayview Avenue area March 2
at around 7 p.m. Police investigators believe multiple tow trucks were in the
parking lot when an occupant in one of them fired several shots at a black
tow truck. Police say people involved in the shooting fled the area. Police said
shortly after officers arrived on scene, one of the tow trucks involved returned
to the scene with several bullet holes. Police located several shell casings in
the parking lot. The driver was not injured. The encounter appears to be the
latest in an escalating series of violent incidents in what has been
described as a tow truck turf war.
Calgary, AB: Police investigate shooting in c-store parking lot
Second incident in two months
Calgary police are investigating a shooting
in that happened in the parking lot of a Beltline convenience store on Saturday.
Police said a call came in about a shooting in the 100 block of 11th Avenue S.W.
at 3:15 p.m. Two vehicles left the scene, police said, and officers are
searching for a silver Dodge Dart with a window that had been smashed out. It's
not yet known if anyone was injured in the shooting. The shooting happened
roughly two months after a man was found
in medical distress outside the same convenience store.
Edmonton, AB: man runs like 'Usain Bolt,' nabbing alleged robber in Edmonton
Belleville, ON: Shoplifter arrested by Canadian Tire story security
Robberies & Burglaries
C-Store - Iqaluit, NU - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Edmonton, AB - Robbery
C-Store - Saskatoon, SK - Armed Robbery
C-Store - Stittsville, ON - Armed Robbery
Gas Station - Cambridge, ON - Robbery
Tommy Hilfiger - Calgary, AB - Armed Robbery