The Christmas shopping season and the expectations around next year’s increase to the minimum wage in Ontario brings our minds to the retail trade. If so many of our fellow citizens are going to work in that sector we should hope for it not to be stupid, exploitive and awful.
Retail jobs don’t need to be bad. Here’s proof
Living wages: explaining a growing movement
Stronger protections needed to fight erratic scheduling, advocates say. As the passage of Bill 148 nears completion, workers worry that a loophole in new protections will leave them vulnerable to unpredictable schedules
Walmart: too big to fail?
Sears demise is Nortel all over again for pensioners, says expert. Some 16,000 retirees face uncertain future as company seeks approval to begin liquidating assets
image: Mike Kalasnick via Flickr/CC
Why don’t big biz bosses look on paying living wages as one of the challenges of being in business? You know, instead of something to carp about. Why can’t our corporate commanders set living wages as a high level objective, apply the needed thought, creativity and resources and, well, just do it? Or, is it that they just don’t like the idea of living wages to begin with?
Galen Weston knows paying a living wage is bad for capitalism. A full-time minimum wage worker takes home $25,877. In Toronto where rent averages $2,000 a month, that means living in poverty
image: vintage ad from Jamie via Flickr/CC
This item goes a little hard on the big thrift chain. We do agree about the price of the goods on offer at the thrifts. Thrift is part of the solution and part of the problem in a world of massive resource flows and materials consumption.
Selling the poor: the politics of Value Village
image: Batara via Flickr/CC
Figuring out what to do with overbuilt retail could become part of creating a better suburban economy, no? One suited to present reality better than dreams of endless, mindless growth?
We recently went along on an organized walk to see a mall here in Mississauga, Ontario that has replaced much of its retail space with services. One of its former anchor stores has been insurance company office space for years now. Many U.S. malls are in places where the surrounding economy is not as strong as it is here. That’s a problem. But if the dead malls are up and built on land already hooked up to municipal services then they are candidates for some creative thinking. We’d rather see a dead mall redeveloped than farmland destroyed.
Here’s what could happen to America’s hundreds of dead malls
Where a shopping mall used to be an opportunity arises
The decline of malls in America can mean lost jobs and lower tax revenues for states and municipalities — but not always
image: Travis Estell via Flickr/CC
Macy’s, Sears, Payless Shoes. America’s favourite merchandise outlets melt into air. Retail here in the greater Toronto Area has been overbuilt for a while now but nobody is calling it an apocalypse quite yet. Unlike in the United States, where ‘retail apocalypse’ is a Wikipedia entry and daily reality. While retail jobs were nothing special they were readily available, especially to women and youth. Many an immigrant to North America held things together with mall employment, too.
The retail apocalypse is suburban. Cities will weather this concentrated downturn becasue they went through it 50 years ago. Their neighbours may not be so lucky
What caused the retail apocalypse?
See also: (352) Mall living
image: Sarah Martin via Flickr/CC
Cash flow problems? Well, we can’t say we like the closure of Goodwill stores in Ontario. And what of the presence of a high pay and high profile manager while this flop occurred? The stores and their associated services play a role for those in social difficulty here. But only when they are open.
See also: (744) Second hand index
image: Leslie Abraham via Flickr/CC
image: Frédéric Poirot via Flickr/CC
Metro deal sets new precedent for fair wages and schedules. In a sector synonymous with precarious work, grocery store workers are celebrating an agreement that will give them more predictable work hours and raises
image: Shannon Wise via Flickr/CC