Retailers squeezed by higher costs

The easing of lockdown measures has customers returning to stores, but retailers continue to face pressures on their bottom lines, according to the Globe and Mail. Transport and input costs have shot up, driven by a dearth of shipping containers worldwide as well as hot demand for raw materials.

Some retailers are taking the hit to their margins in hopes of riding out a “temporary imbalance.” Others are raising prices, thereby stoking inflation, which in May reached its highest level in a decade.

The state of the Canadian dollar, which has seen a 9.6 percent boost over the past year, is the one silver lining. “When the Canadian dollar is stronger, that gives them at least a small buffer,” said Retail Council of Canada CEO Diane Brisebois.