Trois-Rivières merchants face a major challenge this year as they try desperately to meet customer demand with fewer staff.
With Christmas only 10 days away, shop traffic is increasing. Unlike in recent years, many businesses don’t open until 9pm, even in mid-December.
“We decided to open only until 9pm next week in order to relieve our staff,” explained L’entre-Jeux branch manager in Trois-Rivières, Karine Germain.
For Luxédor Jewellery, it will be necessary to slightly lengthen the staff schedule at the post office from next week, owner Alexandre Alari says.
At Sports Expert, opening hours for the holiday season began on December 12th of this year, instead of the first.
“The first few weeks weren’t really busy in the evenings. So, short staffing, or tight staffing if you like, we were very happy to start a little later,” confirmed Georges Brunelle, COO of Brunelle Group.
The same decision was made by the owners of the Les Rivières shopping center in Trois-Rivières. “We follow what the merchants ask us,” replied Daniel Durand, vice president of marketing and communications at Groupe Mach, which owns the mall.
For others, it is simply impossible to consider closing later during the holidays. Such is the case of Boutique de la Palaieuse in Trois-Rivières, which will have to close its doors at 6pm every day due to a staff shortage.
If traffic is sometimes slow for merchants, online shopping is getting more and more popular.
“At this time of year a lot of people will be shopping online, but they’ll pop into the store to look at their options, see if there are discounts, look at the colors, touch the product, see if it’s really the same,” added Mr. Brunell. .
Again this year, the mall is a consumer favorite. “It’s a completely different experience than shopping online. You can see the products, touch the products, and compare them,” argued Mr. Durand.
Note that Les Rivières Center records up to 15% more visitors than in 2021.
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