Industry Lens: Retail Trade—May 2021

The Conference Board of Canada, May 10, 2021
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Document Highlights

  • COVID-19 shook up the retail trade industry and will leave a lasting mark, though government stimulus spending and rising household savings will help carry the industry forward.
  • The pandemic has altered consumer spending habits—some of them permanently—and forced many retailers to adjust their business models.
  • The industry is in the middle of a K-shaped recovery. Some retailers have already seen their sales surpass their pre-pandemic levels while others have a long way to go.
  • Once the threat of the pandemic dissipates, a consumer-led recovery will bode well for the retail industry.
  • Employment prospects will be modest as retailers continue embracing productivity-enhancing technology.

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