Shopping experience is losing feathers due to COVID

The shopping experience in stores deemed essential deteriorated in 2020, according to a study by Léger carried out in collaboration with the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). The reduction in promotional offers and employee availability are among other things singled out.

Yesterday, the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) unveiled during a videoconference with its members the WOW 2020 study which takes stock of the experience of consumers in stores in Quebec.

Unsurprisingly, the impacts of the pandemic have in particular weighed down the general atmosphere in certain businesses which are now subject to various restrictions.

Consumers have also complained about the lack of products and the more limited supply of novelty in recent months.

“In general, the in-store customer experience has deteriorated at most retailers considered essential, including pharmacies, grocery stores, convenience stores and the Société des alcools du Québec,” reveals the study by Léger, which was conducted last fall among 13,000 Quebecers over the age of 15.

Sanitary measures

The sanitary measures installed at retailers to combat the pandemic, however, have had very little influence on the shopping experience of the majority of customers. About one in five consumers (18%) believe that these new practices have “significantly” affected their enjoyment of shopping.

“The measures seem to affect more strongly the customers of beauty shops (cosmetics, creams, etc.), jewelry and eyewear,” said Léger.

According to the study, the three stores that offered the best in-store experience to Quebec customers are Aliments M&M, Yves Rocher and Nespresso.

If the shopping experience was more difficult at retailers considered essential, it has nevertheless improved, compared to 2019, in fashion boutiques and more nested brands, according to the study carried out in collaboration with the CCCD.

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The winners for their French

Yesterday, the CCCD also unveiled in the company of the Minister of the Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, and the CEO of the Office québécois de la langue française, Ginette Galarneau, the Molières retail prices. These are retailers who have distinguished themselves from their competitors by the use of French through their activities and communications.

The award for the non-Quebec company that best adapted to the French-speaking context of Quebec was awarded to TELUS. Maison Simons also won the award for its excellence in the use of the French language in customer service offered by its online employees. Finally, Ameublements Tanguay stood out for its use of French in the information available online.

Recently, the use of English by several companies has come under criticism in the media. A report from Journal in the fall revealed that several businesses in downtown Montreal offered unilingual Anglophone reception.

Best experiences 2020 ranking


  1. M&M Foods
  2. Yves Rocher
  3. Nespresso
  4. Bath & Body Works
  5. Lush
  6. Claire France
  7. Pitou Minou and Companions
  8. Favorite Chocolates

Source: WOW 2020 study


  1. The Simons House
  2. Lush
  3. Apple
  4. Sephora
  5. Cook It
  6. Quebec Alcohol Corporation
  7. Fizz
  9. Lufa Farms
  10. Nespresso
  11. Yves Rocher

Source: Digital WOW Study 2020

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