Blowout sales might be a thing of the past, at least for a while. On Friday, May 8, Mayor John Tory gave an update on Toronto stores reopening starting next week. As businesses get set to restart curbside pickup, Tory emphasized it's crucial that stores don't entice huge crowds with blowout sales.
On Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford gave permission to provincial businesses with street entrances to open back up for curbside pickup only as of Monday, May 11.
Almost immediately, there was some debate as to how Toronto would manage this step given its huge population density compared to other regions of the province.
On Friday, Tory addressed these questions head-on in the city's daily media briefing.
And, as well as outlining recommendations like physical distancing and the use of masks, Tory had a particularly important request for those stores.
"One more request I made... business people can help us a lot by not having blowout sales or other things they know, because they are smart about this, that will attract a large amount of people," Tory said in the briefing.
Shoppers love a sale, that much is obvious. So it seems unsurprising that Tory and Co. appear slightly concerned about the potential for discounts and the crowds they'd attract.
The mayor went on to note that he finds it "unlikely in the era of curbside pickup" that such big discounts will be offered. That may have been more of a warning to businesses than an actual hypothesis.
Meanwhile, a City of Toronto release adds: "While the curbside pick-up accommodation is meant to help businesses get going again, business should be carried out in a manner that is consistent with the continuing public health challenge.
"Business owners should not initiate sales or promotions designed to attract big crowds and should adhere to all public health guidelines."
Also in the City briefing on Friday, Toronto's top medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa noted that going forward, the use of face masks is "strongly recommended" whenever entering or coming near a reopened business.
Meanwhile, Ontario's own top doctor stressed in the same afternoon that it appears residents are not being stringent enough with their physical distancing, as the level of community spread still being noted in the province is "perplexing."
Tory and health staff stressed these measures are all about avoiding that potentially devastating "second wave" of community spread.
"I don't want to see the doors of our businesses open only to have to watch them close again due to the virus," Tory said.
Amen to that.