Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is seen as Canada’s voice of retail as they represent 45,000 storefronts across Canada. The storefronts they represent include all retail types; like, grocery, department, discount, specialty, online merchants and independent retailers. This group continues to be instrumental in helping to improve, change or eliminate laws that they feel burden or hurt retail businesses.
For years, RCC has studied the impact of the Upholstered and Stuff Articles Regulation (USA) and after several meetings and on-site consultations they have successfully pushed the Ontario Government to repeal large sections of the regulation. This $20 million a year reduction is expected to equal savings to the storeowners in Ontario.
The repeal is expected to take effect in December 2019. The savings will be noticed in the reduction of registration fees, more relaxed labeling standards, lower compliance costs, elimination of product listings, and the general unequal landscape created between a physical store and online retailer will be reduced.
Benefits to retailers after the USA is repealed includes:
1. Annual Registration Costs
Local and overseas businesses doing business in Ontario had to register under the USA Program. The cost per business ranged from $20 to $400 annually. The TSSA Annual Report from 2017 stated annual savings to business would be a little more than $4 million each year. This is real savings for the retailers doing business in Ontario.
2. Product Listings
This regulation raised concerns over product listing requirements for retailers, as the categories were not always clear. Several businesses had concerns about the vagueness of the categories and where exactly their product falls in the product list. Well this concern will be address with the repeal of USA.
3. Labeling Requirement Eliminated
Due to the USA, manufacturers had to customize products for the Ontario market by labeling them differently from their other inventory. This segregation of products from the North America merchandise and separate labeling requirement will end on the 6th of December 2019 when the USA regulation, in its entirety, will be repealed. This is all good news for the retailers.
4. Lower Compliance Costs
Product labeling inspections will be no longer be required as result of removal of the regulation. This will lower compliance costs for local retailers. Based on report from KPMG, out of 19,000 inspection orders issued, there were 1300 inspections performed annually. Thus, the repeal of this regulation does not only benefit retailers, but it reduces the number of TSSA inspectors needed.
5. Other Regulation Burdens
RCC and many of their retail members agree that the repeal will bring a more equal playing field between online and brick and mortar retailers. The regulations brought more requirements only for brick and mortar retailers only, but now the repeal of such requirements means both retailers will be subject to the same enforcement requirements.
As a result, RCC success with helping Ontario retailers repeal the regulation is just another milestone in RCC’s mission to empower retailers. They have already begun plans to also help Manitoba and Québec battle similar issues in the Bedding and Other Upholstered or Stuffed Articles Regulation.
With Canada’s retail sector being the largest employer at 2.1 million Canadians that work in this industry, now is the time to invest in retail. Contact ReDev to learn about our new opportunities.