The president and CEO of Walmart Canada said governments shouldn’t direct their support towards big retailers that are allowed to remain open, but instead should help smaller businesses that have suffered a big hit from the pandemic.
“I’ll be very honest: we do not need the support that is needed by the small business owners that were most affected by this shutdown,” Horacio Barbeito said in an interview.
A new wave of lockdowns across parts of Canada have forced many non-essential retailers to shutter their doors.
Barbeito said the closures are putting supply chains under strain as consumers flock to the few companies allowed to remain open during the pandemic. He said allowing small businesses to operate would help alleviate the problem.
“We really want them to be open and for customers to have more choices and not put the supply chain under so much stress,” he said.
Barbeito said shifting consumer trends caused by COVID-19 have also added to this stress.
“The ‘at-home economy,’ as we call it now on retail is putting a lot of pressure on everyday essentials,” he said. “The shift from eating out to eating at home is putting a lot of pressure in the supply chain.”