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Canadian Push 9-4-15

Canadian employees and labour activists calling for end of 'on call' shifts - just like their U.S. counterparts  They're calling for the elimination of "on-call" shifts, a practice where management schedules shifts for part-time employees each week, but then requires them to call in ahead of their start time to find out if they're actually working.

This is a growing problem for young workers in their 20s and 30s who make up a significant chunk of retail and service workers. I've seen pretty high rates of mental health issues among this group of workers. It also drives stress and anxiety to a pretty high degree."

In recent months, lawmakers in the United States have taken notice of a growing discontent with volatile workplace schedules. And a number of retailers have stopped the practice.

In Canada, similar changes for worker rights are harder to come by, though there have been some inroads in recent months. This summer, Unifor, the union representing Metro employees at stores in the Greater Toronto Area reached an agreement with management to give staff more predictable schedules. The deal also guarantees part-timers a minimum of 15 hours of work after working for one year. Changes have also been made at some Loblaw stores in Ontario as well.

In Ontario, complaints about lax workplace guidelines have pushed the Liberal government to launch a formal review of provincial labour laws with an interim report due early next year.

Gap's store brands in Canada to end on-call, short-notice shifts
Stores operated by Gap Inc. in Canada will join their U.S. counterparts in ending the practice of requiring workers to be on call for short-notice shifts. Gap spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson says the changes apply to all four of the brands operated by the company in Canada - the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Intermix. She says all stores are committed to providing store employees with at least 10 to 14 days ' notice.

Sears Canada to cut $100m to $125m in annual operating expenses - Cuts are coming  Sears Canada's second-quarter revenue fell 9.1 per cent but the department store chain turned a profit thanks to selling more properties during the period, and executives are encouraged by positive sales momentum in its core retail network. Sears did not detail where the cuts would be made, but said they would happen in the current quarter that began Aug. 2 and account for estimated one-time costs of $15 million to $20 million.

Clothing retailer Laura's to close five fewer stores after rents lowered - Closing 15 on Sept. 13th  Laura's said it will employ about 2,000 workers in stores across Canada, the distribution centre and remaining office as a results of the changes, down from 2,330 when its network spanned 162 stores. Laura's operates in all provinces except Prince Edward Island and also has two e-commerce sites. About half the stores and store-level employees are in Ontario. Quebec has the second-most stores at 37.

Canadian shoppers turn to the web for products they can't find nearby
Canadian shoppers are also more willing to be patient on delivery than U.S. consumers. 24% of Canadian shoppers say they find making a purchase online and having the purchase shipped to their home or office more convenient than purchasing at a store (versus 39% of U.S. shoppe. The survey results also indicate Canadian consumers may have lower expectations when it comes to getting a deal online. More Canadian shoppers than U.S. shoppers rate shipping cost as a deciding factor in whether they will make an online purchase.

Canada gets serious about e-commerce
"The only reason e-retailing has taken longer to catch on in Canada is the cost of shipping as a percentage of the sale"   But Canadian consumers are catching onto online shopping as domestic and foreign retailers, including many with U.S. roots, make shopping online more attractive. Forrester projects that in 2019, online spending will account for 10% of Canadian retail spending, pulling it nearly equal, on a percentage basis, with the 11% expected in the United States. U.S.-based retailers including Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have made significant moves in the market.

Plus-Sized U.S. Retailer Torrid Plans Up to 50 Canadian Stores

It's operation rehab for many fashion chains

Retail Fast Facts: August 2015


Total monthly retail sales changed by 3.7 per cent over the comparable month last year.
Total sales excluding food, automotive and gasoline changed by 4.5 per cent over the comparable month last year. Read more



Vancouver, BC, CN: $15,000 worth of merchandise stolen from Vancouver drone store  For the second time in two days, a drone store in Vancouver has been hit by another theft. Security footage provided to Vancity Buzz shows a shocking scene at Drones Plus' Kitsilano location. Appearing from the back room, two figures dressed head-to-toe in dark clothing, with masks over their faces, looted a quiet store front. They shoved $15,000 worth of drones, remotes, and other electronics into bags before heading back out the way they came in.

Victoria, BC, CN: Police are seeking a Jewelry thief, fled with $10,000 in merchandise  Surveillance images show the man arrived at the building in the 600 block of Fort St. around 3 p.m. on August 27. He left shortly after and then returned, hiding in the building until after the doors were locked at 6pm. After the employees had left, the man smashed a window and entered the jewelry store itself through a hole in the glass. The man grabbed $8000-$10,000 worth of items and fled before police arrived.

Regina, SK, CN: 306 Skate Shop hit by Distraction Team for a $1,000 vintage baseball jersey  Another crime in Regina has been captured on a video surveillance camera. The latest one happened earlier this week at the 306 Skate Shop on 9th Avenue North. Owner Andrew Hincks says a man and a woman came into the store with the woman in a wheelchair. She said she was dying and wanted to buy a gift for her nephew. Hincks helped the woman up and down the stairs and did notice some things he thought was strange, but didn't think anything about it. It was after they left when he noticed about one thousand dollars in merchandise had been stolen including a vintage Roberto Alomar Blue Jays jersey.

Airdrie RCMP seeking 2 suspects in $950 Crest White Stripes from Shoppers Drug Mart  Airdrie RCMP is hoping tips from the public will help identify a man and a woman wanted for questioning in the theft of $951 worth of Crest White Strips teeth whitening strips on July 13, according to Media Liaison Constable Megan Fillion. According to Fillion, the man entered the Shoppers Drug Mark on Market Street in King's Heights at approximately X and began putting boxes of Crest White Strips in to a gift bag. The two suspects may be involved in a similar theft at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary approximately one hour later, according to Fillion.

La Loche, Sask, CN: Brinks Armored truck Rolls but No Money Spills  RCMP say two people were hurt when a Brinks truck crashed and rolled into the ditch beside Highway 155 near La Loche, Sask., Wednesday. They noted no money spilled from the wreck. RCMP said the crash happened around 1:30 p.m. CST, about 25 kilometres south of La Loche, a community in Saskatchewan's north about 600 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. They said the truck was going north when it left the highway and rolled as it hit the east side ditch.

Canadian Push 9-4-15
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