Q. Why is there caution tape throughout the store on a statutory holiday?
A. With the Holiday Shopping Act, we are only allowed 2,400 square feet of retail space. Rather than closing the store, we have chosen to provide as much of the store as possible to our customers.
Q. This all seems new, why is it happening now and didn't before?
A. The city by-law has always been in place, but they have recently begun rigorously enforcing the by-law. The City is now regularly receiving complaints that our store is open and we have had a by-law officer visit our store on every statutory holiday in the last year.
Q. Why don't you just stay open and pay the fine?
A. The fine is the lesser of $50,000 and your day's sales, and so we can not afford to pay the fine.
Q. If the fine is that big, why don't you close?
A. We have listened to our customers, and the feedback is that the majority of our customers would like us to be open even if it is only a portion of the store.
Q. What about your staff? Are you forcing them to work on a holiday?
A. All of our staff are given the choice if they would like to work on the holiday or not. If they choose to work on the holiday, they are able to take another day off which is more preferable to them.
Q. Why are the meat, deli, and bakery counters closed?
A. According to the by-law, we are only allowed 3 people to be engaged in serving the public. We have chosen to have these three people to be cashiers.
Q. I see staff behind the lines, why are they not serving us or able to answer my questions?
A. We are allowed to have staff in the back area so that we can make sure the shelves are full, but they are not allowed to assist customers.
Q. Why are there no shopping carts and only baskets?
A. As we are only able to have three staff that are engaged with the public, we are unable to provide our usual service at the cash or anywhere else in the store. We understand that everyone's time is important, especially on holidays, and so we would like to limit the lineups in the store.
Q. Can I place a catering order on a holiday?
A. Unfortunately we can not take catering orders on a holiday as we can only have three staff that are engaged in serving customers and we have designated those three staff to being cashiers.
Q. I have seen some stores open completely, how can they be open?
A. These stores are either choosing to open fully with the risk of being charged or they are part of certain areas in the city that have been designated as ‘Tourist Areas' that are given an exemption and are allowed to open.
Q. If I am unhappy about the by-law and would like the store to be fully open, what can I do?
A. Your best option is to contact your city councilor.