Earlier this year, we reported that many retailers planned on raising prices in-store due to the decline of the Canadian dollar. The Retail Council of Canada reported that a number of retailers planned on raising retail prices between 1% and 5% in the travel, apparel and food sectors. On the topic, many of our readers voiced their opinions and concerns, which included ideas that these retailers are raising costs to keep the money for themselves and that Canadians should take their business elsewhere – supporting online stores such as Amazon or traveling to outlets in the States.
While many big box retailers in Canada may be able to afford avoiding inflation to keep shoppers happy, many small and independent retailers are being faced with tough decisions. One option is for the retailers to take the hit: matching prices with online international retailers to keep shoppers happy and loose money on their inventory. Another option is to be completely transparent and educate their shoppers on why this is happening and hope customers will understand, which is exactly what one Toronto boutique decided to do.
Rosie the Rebel is an independent boutique with two locations: one in Toronto and one in St. Johns, Newfoundland. They specialize in retro and alternative clothing, and are just one of the many retailers who are struggling with prices and competition. They chose transparency in handling customer inquiries and we’ve got to give them props! Not only do they perfectly explain why prices are rising, but they come back with an offer that keeps loyal customers happy! Check out their response (originally posted on their Facebook page) below:
“A Note to our customers about pricing.(A long read but an important read)
Any of our long time customers know, we take pricing very seriously. We work hard to have the lowest possible price for the highest quality goods, and for that price to be less than or equal to you purchasing online, from e-retailers with low overhead costs. We fight to make our prices better than or equal to all other Canadian Alternative independent retailers (including large chain stores like Hot Topic who get discounted rates on large scale bulk orders) We understand that value and stretching a dollar is important to you.
As you probably know, the majority of our Suppliers are from the US and the UK and in the past year we have seen a significant increase on their currency value, the Great British Pound is at an all time high. This means, for a US product that once cost us $50 to purchase, it now costs us $62.50, for the SAME product. And for UK products, for something that used to cost us $75 to purchase, it now costs us $91, for the SAME product.
As you can see, this is a significant increase. We held off on adjusting our prices accordingly as long as possible but we now need to account for this increased cost and we apologize if this appears like we are trying to get more money from our customers because this is not the case, we don’t earn a penny more, this increase is just due to the exchange rates and the increased cost of imported goods.
We ask you to please, when comparing our prices with online prices, to covert those online prices in CAD before comparing, you’ll find then that our prices are more than fair, and equal to or lesser than ordering online and paying shipping, customs and exchange rates. When we sell something for $70 but you saw it on a US site for $50, thats actually $62.5 when converting to Canadian, plus you’ll then be paying anywhere from $10-$30 in shipping and customs duties, and dont enjoy the ability to try it on or the adorable customer service you get with in-store purchasing. So please consider this when comparing pricing, and continue to support your local stores during this economic downturn. The money you spend on local stores feeds back into your community and gives jobs.
To combat this temporary increase to the prices of international products we have introduced a discount program, the Rosie The Rebel VIP membership program. These cards can be purchased in-store and for $15 you’ll receive 15% off for 1 full year.
If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting our store, we will continue to work hard to get you the best products at the best price! Rosie”
As shoppers, we sometimes forget that the people running these stores have bills to pay as well. Just as much as we’re looking for a discount to keep money in our pocket, they’re looking to make ends meet too. Let’s try to keep this list of retailers closing locations Canada from growing!