Despite the downturn in the economy, some Calgary retailers have experienced an increase in sales this year.
New data from Statistics Canada shows that between October 15th of 2015 and 2016, retail sales increased by 3.8 percent in Canada.
The General Manager at the Livery, Kevin Rodrigues, told Global News that the store has been lucky because consumers seem to be spending locally.
“We’re really appreciative that people are shopping local and coming down to not only our store, but there’s a bunch of stores down the street in Inglewood”.
The Livery opened in Inglewood two years ago, a precarious time given the state of the economy in Alberta.
“We didn’t really know if the word was out about what we were doing here,” Rodrigues explained. “So given that it’s been a bit of a surprise.”
Down the street at Espy Experience, owner Megan Szanic has experienced the same “shop local” mantra that Calgarians are embracing.
Szanic said because sales were so strong, she decided to open up a second shop.
“It gave us an opportunity to open up in Banff and we’re so excited,” Szanic said.
ATB’s Chief Economist spoke to Global News and predicted Alberta will start to see growth again in 2017, in several sectors.
Todd Hirsch said that technically it will mean the end of the recession.
“We do see some real GDP growth coming back in 2017,” explained Hirsch. “After two years of contraction, which amounted to about a 7 percent drop in the size of Alberta’s economy, we see about a 2 percent increase coming back.”
He cautioned that it doesn’t bring Alberta back to where it was in 2014.
“That’s starting from a lower base,” said Hirsch. “Even two percent doesn’t get us back to where we were in 2014 but it will mark the end of a very nasty recession, in a technical sense.”
Retailers like Rodrigues and Szanic are hoping that the trend of embracing support for small business continues, even past the holiday rush.