MONTREAL | now that the queues were long in front of the large shops in the centre of town, it was far from madness Monday on the avenue du Mont-Royal for the re-opening of retail shops after two months of forced stop.
Several voices were raised in favour of the local trade since the start of the pandemic, but in reality, people seemed most attracted by the large chains on Monday.
Some sellers were waiting with impatience to meet clients, but few are pointed. “This is a first, it is the least we can say,” said Svetlana, saleswoman for the boutique of jewelry and watches Maha Lakshmi, masked and ready to work.
It is necessary, however, that Quebecers are many to go in the local shops in order to ensure the sustainability of the business. “There will be no sales sidewalk, no festivals, no tourists and no shows. It’s going to be more difficult”, stressed Manuel Paul Gabber, owner of the record store Paul’s Boutique.
As announced by the administration for the Plant in his plan in the summer, the Mont-Royal avenue will be reserved for pedestrians this summer. “If there are more pedestrians walking around, it’s going to perhaps give more visibility to our showcase, hope to Sébastien, the gift shop In far-fetched. Nathalie, the assistant manager, estimated that 40% decline of traffic over a Monday normal for the month of may.
It collects all the same encouraging signs, and believes that the enthusiasm for buying local is a viable solution to increase sales. “This is what will enable us to revive economically”, she advanced.
Some consumers, such as Ariane, are in agreement. “I have a greater attention […]. More particularly now, it is important to encourage small businesses”, she said, intercepted after they have purchased books to the bookstore The Port head.
Anis, the owner of the Z-Chicha and three other shops in the borough, expected slow start. “The temperature is not very good. People are scared and have less money,” he explained, referring to workers who had lost their livelihood due to the pandemic. It is believed that this will improve over time.
Since a week most of the traders are working hard to improve the sanitary conditions of their shop. Some find original solutions: the clothing store gothic Diabolik offers the possibility to its customers to book the store for an hour of shopping (maximum of two clients at the same time).
The health initiative is already attracting some customers, as the spaces were already reserved for the first few days of the week, found the owner, Manon Verret.