Cost of Living

Can Canadian retail survive if the second wave cancels Christmas shopping?

With lockdowns in parts of the country, and rising COVID-19 infections, bringing customers into stores and restaurants is difficult if not impossible. Could more restrictions — and soon — be a solution?

Both relaxing and tightening restrictions come with economic consequences

Workers at the Dandy Brewing Company in Calgary prep cases of canned beer, rather than kegs. Fewer restaurants are ordering beer kegs due to rising COVID-19 infections and the resulting business restrictions. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

The weeks leading up to Christmas, including Black Friday, are traditionally the most important time of year for retailers.

But rising COVID numbers are threatening this season's profit margins, and it could put businesses into situations where they can't recover at a later date.

  • The Cost of Living ❤s money — how it makes (or breaks) us.
    Catch us Sundays on CBC Radio One at 12:00 p.m. (12:30 p.m. NT).

    We also repeat the following Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in most provinces.

Hear from a Winnipeg bookstore owner about the impact of Manitoba's "code red" lockdown, then head to Alberta to find out why restaurants there are struggling to make concrete business plans with changing rules and uncertain futures.

Producer Anis Heydari takes a closer look at the rising restrictions and what they might mean for the bottom line, come Christmas time.


Click 'Listen' at the top of the page to hear this segment, or download the Cost of Living podcast.

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