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Relaunch MTL: The retail ecosystem mobilizes for the relaunch of this sector hit hard by the crisis

Montréal, December 4, 2020 ‒ The Strategic Forum on retail trade held as part of the Relaunch MTL movement, powered by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and its partners, took place today at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Mélanie Joly, Canada’s Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Innovation, Chantal Rouleau, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal and President of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, participated in the event. Close to 350 participants had the chance to interact with more than 25 panelists about proposed avenues for action to innovate and relaunch retail trade sustainably.

During the day, players in the retail trade sector identified major challenges, including many exacerbated by the pandemic. Among issues that were already affecting the sector before COVID, participants identified high fixed costs and a lag in making the digital shift as priorities. According to industry actors, downtown and commercial thoroughfares are suffering the greatest impact of the crisis within Montréal’s retail trade sector.

Despite the major difficulties that still affect merchants – particularly fashion businesses and restaurants – many opportunities are emerging, starting with the transformation of traditional business and operating models, as well as the acceleration of the digital shift. In the short term, participants believe the priority avenue for action to stimulate traffic downtown is cross-promotional offers between retailers, restaurants, and the tourism sector, and other multi-sector collaborations that appeal to consumers. Improving the pedestrian experience and facilitating access for cars and to parking also emerge as priority avenues for the vitality of commercial thoroughfares.

This prioritization of solutions initially presented in the Action Plan to Strengthen the Retail Trade Sector, jointly developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Conseil québécois du commerce de detail, and mmode, the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster, with content partner KPMG, is the result of a collaborative exercise conducted during the Forum. The action plan noted the sector’s major contribution to the Greater Montréal economy.

“While retail trade was hit full force by the crisis, sector actors quickly banded together,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “They took advantage of the upheavals of recent months to look at how they could collaborate and develop innovative solutions. However, the situation reinforced the observation that local businesses need to quickly make the digital shift to enhance their performance. Local consumers have to be able to identify and procure online local products that interest them. We also have to be able to rely on local supply chains. There is a lot to do to succeed in the relaunch, but sector actors are mobilized. The Chamber will continue to support them in their efforts.”

“Montréal retailers do things differently because of in-depth knowledge they have developed over the years,” said Stéphane Drouin, general manager of the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail. “In the face of adversity, they constantly innovate and do everything they can to stand out. They will weather the storm and seize every opportunity to relaunch and reinvent the sector.”

“Thanks to the excellence of small and large players, Montréal has consolidated its presence as a fashion city on the global scene in recent years,” said Debbie Zakaib, executive director of mmode, the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster. “We are confident that by working together, retailers from every sector and their peers will make it through the pandemic and seize opportunities to deal with technological, fiscal and sustainability issues and build the sector’s recovery successfully.”

The enhanced action plan, following a collaborative session held as part of the Forum, will soon be available on the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal website. While awaiting the updated version, you can find the action plan here.

About the Strategic Forum on Retail Trade
The Strategic Forum on Retail Trade, which is part of the Relaunch MTL movement, is jointly developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Conseil québécois du commerce de detail, and mmode, the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster, in cooperation with HEC Montréal and Keeoo.mee.

About the Relaunch MTL movement
The Relaunch MTL movement is powered by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal and the Ville de Montréal, in association with Investissement Québec and the Palais des congrès de Montréal, and in cooperation with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Conseil emploi métropole, CN, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and KPMG. The movement is also created with the support of Air Canada, CGI, Desjardins, Hydro-Québec, La Presse, Montreal Gazette, RBC Royal Bank and Rio Tinto, and in partnership with Aéro Montréal, AluQuébec, the Association de la construction du Québec, the Quebec Film and Television Council, CargoM – Logistic and Transportation Metropolitan Cluster of Montréal, the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail, Culture Montréal, Écotech Québec, Femmessor, Finance Montréal, the Fonds de recherche du Québec, the Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal, mmode – the Metropolitan Fashion Cluster, Montréal International, Montreal InVivo, Numana, Propulsion Québec and Tourisme Montréal. More details on the movement at  

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.

Twitter: @chambremontreal
To continue the discussion: #RelançonsMTL


Source: Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Information: Caroline Des Rosiers, 514 880-2881,

Related link: http://www.relanç

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