MEDICINE HAT, AB -- The Canadian Union of Postal Workers remains on strike, with packages piling up and Canadians getting frustrated.
However, the strike may be encouraging Hatters to shop in person more, especially on one of the busiest shopping days of the year; Black Friday.
“I believe that because of some of the bad experiences from Canada Post right now that people are reluctant to order online,” says Allison Dreher, owner of Annie McGuire Interiors. “Because they’re thinking ‘well we might not get it and we might not get it before Christmas’.”
Dreher says most of her customers shop in person, and she saw more than 200 people walk through her doors before 10 a.m. this morning.
But with Christmas coming up, some more rural customers are shopping online, and that hasn’t worked out too well.
“There was a lady last week actually that didn’t get her Christmas tree because it is somewhere,” says Dreher. “She doesn’t know where.”
Mail within Canada is completely backed up because of the rotating strikes, and it’s not better outside of the country.
Canada post asked its international partners to stop all mail and parcel shipments a couple of weeks ago.
Visions Electronics uses alternate couriers, which avoid situations similar to this.
However, they still felt the increase in customers, many expressing value on in person interactions.
“I would say there’s a lot of people coming in store, they want to be here so if we can have a face to face,” says Jermaine Brewster, Visions Electronics store manager. “I feel that’swhat is bringing people in here.”
The most common online retailers are sites like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy, so when those are cut out of the picture, local stores are supported.
“When you grow up in southern Alberta we support each other, that’s always been a big thing,” says Brewster. “When you scratch someone else back they’re hopefully gonna support you and scratch your back, it’s just really important to make sure things stay as local as possible.”
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers may not be on strike for much longer though, as back to work legislation slowly moves through Parliament.
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