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Retailers explore pricier shipping alternatives due to Canada Post strike

Canada Post workers walk the picket line as a rotating strike continues in Halifax on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Retailers may pass on the cost of pricier shipping alternatives to consumers, says Retail Council of Canada

Ebay has called on the federal government to intervene in the Canada Post dispute

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – We are reaching the final period for getting your online order in to ensure you have it in time for Christmas — and retailers are starting to look at alternatives to Canada Post as the labour dispute at the Crown Corporation drags on.

Most of the time, Canada Post is the shipping choice that makes sense for businesses.

But Sebastian Prins with the Retail Council of Canada says stores are now looking at other options, which could increase how much you end up paying for your order.

“I don’t see how in a world where that service is no longer there, that you wouldn’t have to increase that cost if you switch to a private delivery system,” says Prins.

He adds given many stores are already operating on thin margins, there isn’t much of an alternative but to pass that cost on to you.

“Just in so far as the margins are very tight in retail, so there isn’t a lot of ability for retailers to absorb that cost increase, so they would have to pass that on to customers,” says Prins.

It seems shoppers are also abandoning online orders at the final stage once they see Canada Post pop up on the screen when it comes to delivery selection.

“One of the major impacts that they’re feeling as a result of the Canada Post strikes is basket abandonment,” says Prins. “When folks are filling out their orders online, they become unsure when they see that it’s going through Canada Post, and instead of saying, ‘oh, what other options are available,’ they’re just hitting cancel on the whole order.

“For retailers, they’re basically saying that that’s lost income.”

This comes as Ebay weighs in on the Canada Post dispute, calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene, claiming rotating strikes are set to cause big pain for small and medium sized retailers.