Many countries worldwide were greatly affected by the recent global recession, but it seems that conditions in Canada may be gradually stabilizing. Lately, more consumers are seeing their financial circumstances improve and this is equally good news for retailers, who are likely to see increased sales. One thing merchants must keep in mind, however, is that processing payments is not always a simple affair, and more customers means the need to use high-tech solutions is growing greater. In many cases, businesses will have to address shoppers' desires to make purchases using a number of different methods, including credit or debit cards, cash and mobile payments. In order to keep all data organized and accurate, it may be helpful to deploy retail and point of sale technology to support and accurately record all transactions, no matter how a patron wants to pay. In addition, these tools may also facilitate growth by helping businesses avoid costly violations of Canadian retail compliance regulations.
According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, retail sales rose to $38.9 billion in January 2013, up 1 percent from December. There were improvements in nearly all measured subsectors, with 7 out of 11 seeing gains.
Some of the most successful industries in January were motor vehicle and parts dealers, who saw 2.8 percent growth in purchases, and department stores, where sales increased by nearly 12 percent. Additionally, six provinces reaped the benefits of consumer spending, with Quebec's sales jumping 2.1 percent over December.
Improvements in job market support spending
One reason that Canadians may be boosting their purchases is that more are back to work. Bloomberg Businessweek noted that Statistics Canada recently announced employment rose by 50,700 in February, beating predictions and reaching a four-year high. The news came around the same time as the United States revealed similarly positive results. The U.S. purchases approximately three-quarters of Canada's exports, so improvements for the nation are often good news for Canada as well.
"We are seeing a slow but steady improvement in the jobless rate even amid relatively modest growth in this country," Doug Porter, Bank of Montreal's chief economist, told the source. "Maybe even better news is the much better job numbers we have seen out of the U.S. today."
As retailers get ready for customers to return, they may be able to increase success with retail and point of sale technology, which may be helpful in keeping operations running smoothly.