Ed Mah is not worried about offending when he sees something affecting the whole of Dawson Creek.
“People are going out of town to shop.”
The Bing’s Furniture owner says the prospects of Amazon ordering and Canada Post circumventing local store owners is not new, it simply seems more prevalent in 2019/20.
“With Alberta’s seven percent less being so close, we have felt the pull to Alberta for 60 years – after 60 years I get that times change but we are here to provide that local experience, customer service, and the changes we can make right on the floor,” he says.
“We don’t have to send the product back because the mail or shipping broke it. Customer service is not a number where no one gets back to you, it’s a real face, not hiding behind the computer screen.”
Paul Davey and Dan Brisbin at Software Emporium say the trick is not to react, and stay ahead of curves slightly.
“We have business trust in helping people use computers more efficiently, which is hard to get online,” says Davey.
Come May 2020, the Emporium has been going for 25 years in DC.
“It’s been getting worse. Dealing with Wal-mart as well. It does come down to people wanting to shop local, pay taxes, and pay reasonable prices, and getting great service,” adds Brisbin.
Many note that when for profit businesses donb’t turn profit, this trickles down to non profit donations overall.
“If people can’t buy local, tough to give local, same for us, we just don’t have the money to sponsor as much, or donates as much as we used to.”
Davey says the business streams – more than just selling computers – helps the bottom line.
We have the sales but support, IT, and more. It is important to be ahead of market trends, and face competition,” he notes.
“I do understand the mentality that not shopping local to a business sector or traditional downtown become more of a ghost town.”
Mah notes 2020 could be a key year for many in Dawson Creek.
“It is a scary, pivotal year. We are going into a slower beginning of the year. Normally October through December makes up for a slower new year. This year – I wonder what some businesses will be doing come mid February.”
According to Statista, the e-commerce market has been developing constantly in the past decade.
“Retail sales from worldwide electronic commerce are expected to grow from 2.3 trillion dollars in 2017 to almost 4.9 trillion in 2021.”
They note in 2018, e-commerce retail trade sales in Canada amounted to almost 1.6 billion Canadian dollars, and revenue generated within the retail e-commerce market is expected to surpass 55 billion Canadian dollars by 2023, up from 40 billion in 2018.