Tag Archives: retail trade

(1243) Retail life

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
nytimes.com
Living wages: explaining a growing movement
kitchener.ctvnews
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
thestar.com
Walmart: too big to fail?
strongtowns.org
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
cbc.ca/news
See also:
(1084) Good Santa
(348) Retail now Canada’s largest employment sector
image: Mike Kalasnick via Flickr/CC

(1190) Loblaws wages


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
torontoist.com
image: vintage ad from Jamie via Flickr/CC

(1142) Reimagining the dead malls

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
businessinsider.com
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
governing.com
image: Travis Estell via Flickr/CC

(1138) USA shopocalypse


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.
Wikipedia: Retail Apocalypse
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
slate.com
What caused the retail apocalypse?
theweek.com
See also: (352) Mall living
image: Sarah Martin via Flickr/CC

(921) Goodwill closure

thriftCash 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.

Goodwill workers blast charity’s CEO over closures. Workers frustrated and furious at the abrupt closure of 16 Goodwill stores, 10 donation centres and two offices
thestar.com (video 00:57)

See also: (744) Second hand index

image: Leslie Abraham via Flickr/CC

(744) Second hand index

thriftEveryone settles into a relationship with the thrift shops.  Maybe its just for a book or two a year and not necessarily for a course in how to make work socks from the sleeves of 80s sweaters but sooner or later we acknowledge the thrifts.  EBay and Etsy, too.

Who doesn’t like a bargain? Canadians commend themselves when they recycle a thing, however small.  Second hand is all around us and seems to be a true growth industry offering entertainment and a sense of discovery along with hard goods. Those in social difficulty have been ahead of the better off on this file basically forever.  At first we thought a formal economic index for thrift, an S&P 100 for Canada’s junk shops and vintage clothing might be a bit much but we’re finding it impossible not to acknowledge value in this offering from online reselling powerhouse Kijiji.

The Kijiji second-hand economy index: 2015 report
38-page .pdf file

image: S Jones via Flickr/CC