Merchants and consumers welcomed with resignation the imposition of the vaccine passport in big box stores on Monday in Quebec.
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The Quebec channel Canac said it was disappointed with the entry into force of this new measure.
“It is with great disappointment that we welcome this new measure. We had hoped until the last minute that hardware stores would still, and rightly, be considered an essential service,” said Patrick Delisle, Marketing Director.
“Currently, our main fear is to harm our customers who have legitimate and pressing needs. Queuing at -30 degrees as is the case this morning (Monday) is nothing to help the customer experience. And we make this happen to 100% of our customers, while more than 90% of them are adequately vaccinated, ”he added.
“We also have concerns about the reaction of customers who could be offended by the measure. Our employees are not comfortable. For this reason, we use security guards who act as buffers between customers and our teams.”
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Compliance with this new rule results in additional costs of more than $100,000 per week in wages for the chain.
“That’s not counting the purchase of devices and cellular network to carry out the validation via the VaxiCode application. We had to have posters done and put resources dedicated to respecting this measure, these are sums that our smaller competitors do not have to assume. In our view, this is an unfair competitive disadvantage, while our branches have all been equipped at great expense with plexiglass and multiple distancing measures ensuring consumer safety for 2 years.
According to Mr. Delisle, a “large number” of business and commercial customers have already expressed their dissatisfaction.
A construction worker met at the Henri-Bourassa Boulevard branch, who prefers to conceal his identity, considers that it is “unacceptable” to limit this type of business to people who are vaccinated.
It is not a question of being vaccinated or not, he argued. According to him, the government discriminates while interfering in the area of privacy.
André Poulin, another Canac client, was in favor of this measure.
“It doesn’t bother me at all. It is sure that it is less freedom for some. We cooperate and there is no problem.
Elsewhere, such as Walmart Lebourgneuf, most of the customers we met accepted to present their passport without any problem.
“We are used to presenting it elsewhere. Me, I have no problem with that,” shared Richard Gagnon at the entrance to the store where two employees were busy reading the QR codes behind a plexiglass.
“I am for that! Let them ask for it everywhere, ”said a client as she continued on her way.
Réjean Nadeau hopes that this measure will not last too long.
“It’s an aria! Sometimes the government makes decisions and you wonder if it’s really good. Personally, I find it ridiculous.
At Costco, where the traffic is not ringing off the hook even at the start of the week, several employees were checking passports at the entrance.
“It’s a good thing, if we want to put an end to this COVID,” added Jacques Blondin as he left the store with his basket.