Retail Trade in the New Brunswick


RetailTrade in the New Brunswick

Retailtrade sector involves the establishment of firms that engage inselling goods and services but without transforming or renderingservices that are included in the after sale services. The retailprocess is the last process in the distribution of goods henceretailers are organized to sell the products in small quantities tothe general public. The sector is divided into the store retailersand the non-store retailers. The store retailers operate on a fixedpoint-of-sale location that is designed to attract customers. Thestore retailers operate in a way that they can sell their products tothe general public for personal consumption (MQO Research, 2012).Additionally, they sell their products to other businesses, non-storeretailers and institutional clients, and offer after sales services,such as installations and repair services. On the other hand, thenon-store retailers are organized to sell their products to thegeneral public. Unlike the store retailers, the non-store retailershave no one specifically established location from where they selltheir products. They use door-to-door solicitation, direct responseadvertisements, publish paper and catalogs to encourage the generalpublic to buy their products. They operate portable stalls andinclude people like the street vendors and those that distribute foodproducts using vending machines (MQO Research, 2012). This paperexemplifies the retail sector in the New Brunswick, outlining thevarious contribution of the sector in the New Brunswick economy.

Retailtrade in New Brunswick has led to the development of a strong andresilient economy over a century, making new Brunswick one of thegreatest trading provinces in Canada. Modern retail trade has itsroots in the cooperative movements that gradually grew during thetwentieth century as the European immigrants engaged the locals inthe trade (Rees, 2014). New Brunswick retail trade is now mature anddiverse, having widespread impacts on both the macro and the microeconomies in Canada. Gradual developments of the sector have led tosubstantial improvements in trade, consequently improving peoples’living standards. At the present, the industry employs more than athird of the working population and has a significant contribution tothe total GDP. However, these advantages would not be realized, wereit not for the favorable conditions of the province during thetwentieth century (Rees, 2014).

Retailtrade in New Brunswick during theTwentieth Century

Thestart of the twentieth century saw the expansion of the economy inthe New Brunswick the manufacturing sector gained strength as moretextile mills being built (Racine, 2013). The increased manufacturingled to increased goods in the economy, hence the establishment ofmore retail firms to sell the goods to the citizens. Initially, therewere few store retailers and more non-store retailers owing to thehuge capital requirement for establishing retailing stores. More andmore store retail were established as the economy expanded. Thedevelopment of sawmills led to larger pulps and paper millsmanufacturing papers. This led to increased trading goods, therebyincreased retail trading (Racine, 2013). However, the expansion ofretail trade in New Brunswick was threatened by the great depressionthat ran from 1929 to 1930s. The depression led to a significantreduction in trade, especially the retail trade, owing to the reducedpurchasing power of the populace and business owners (Kukucha, 2008).The reduced trading during the Second World War can be attributed tothe reduced quantity of goods as manufacturers reduced theirmanufacturing levels, owing to the reduced purchasing power of thepopulace. Two influential families, the McCains, and the Irvingsemerged from the great depression and began modernizing the retailtrade, especially through the increasing the trading goods. Theydelved into food processing, vital forestry and revamped the energysector, factors that increased trade goods and consequently the levelof retail trade in New Brunswick (Lopez &amp Shankar, 2011). Theelection of a French premier, Louis Robichaud in 1960 increasedretail trade in the province. He embarked on ambitious equalopportunities programs. Such programs included development ofeducational facilities, medical facilities, and sanitation amongothers. This led to increased knowledge of best manufacturingpractices, thereby increasing trading goods, which translated toincreased retail trading (Kukucha, 2008).

Thedevelopment of retail trade in New Brunswick led to developmentcampaigns to promote the enactment of trading rules and regulationsfor promoting trade in the province. The first campaign began in 1958at the Dominion Store on the King Square, Saint John. The proposalsof the campaigns were contained in a document referred to as local1065 and were certified in 1959 and signed into law in 1960 (Racine,2013). The document sought to protect the rights of the traderswithin the province as well as raising the salaries of the workers.Other factors that significantly promoted the development of retailtrade in the New Brunswick province was the availability ofdependable mode of transport, including the railroad, watertransport, and the road transport networks. These led to theprosperity of the local communities by easing the transportation ofcommodities across the province, a vital factor that promoted trade(Kukucha, 2008).

Changesin Retail Trade

Overthe years, there has been a significant improvement in the retailsector in the New Brunswick. Under the Canada Global Market ActionPlan (GMAP), the government has established pro-exports and pro-jobpolicies opening New Brunswick to the international market. This hassignificantly improved retail trade as more Canadians in the provinceengage in retail trade due to the expanded market (Rees, 2014). Injust one year after the inauguration of the GMAP commitments, thegovernment has reduced the exporting tariffs, thereby motivatingtraders, especially in Small Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to engage inthe international trade. As of now, the government has reduced theexport tariffs on sea foods by ninety-six percent and ninety-ninepercent on all manufactured goods. The reduction of the export tariffhas increased the competitiveness of goods from New Brunswick in theEU market, promoting retail trade in New Brunswick. The conclusion ofthe Canada-Korea Free Trade agreement (CKFTA) on January 2015 willtremendously improve the retail trade sector in New Brunswick byincreasing market opportunities (Lopez &amp Shankar, 2011).

Impactsof Retail Trade

Overthe years, the government has been organizing global and localworkshops aimed at training retailers on bettering their trading.Additionally, the government has been helping the SMES through theregional Trade Commissioner Service activities (TCS), connecting themand assisting them in exporting their products. Further, thegovernment has enacted appropriate policies to protect retailers,thereby increasing their productivity. Significantly, the governmenthas established the pro-jobs policies which have increased thecitizens’ purchasing power, further strengthening retail trading inNew Brunswick (MQO Research, 2012). These have led to a notablegrowth of trade in New Brunswick. In 2010, the total Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) associated with retail trade sector was $2.6 Billion,an increase from 1.9 U.S Billion dollars in 2000.

GDPtrend in New Brunswick since 2000 (source: MQO Research, 2012)

Inthe year 2011, the number of people engaging in retail and wholesaletrade was estimated at fifty-eight thousand, with about fifty-threeof them being employed in the sector. This evidences that aboutsixteen percent of the working population in New Brunswick work inthe retail trade (Lopez &amp Shankar, 2011).

Accordingto 2011 trading statistics, forty-nine percent of people engaging inretail trade in New Brunswick were women, with the rest being thewomen. Seventy-two percent of these were full-time employees with therest twenty-eight percent being part-time employees.

Source(MQO Research, 2012)

Inthe same year, the retail trade sector accounted for six percent ofthe total nine and a half percent unemployment rate. However,unemployment in the sector is slowly declining as more people becomeemployed in manufacturing and processing sectors (MQO Research,2012).


Fromthe aforementioned, retail trade involves establishments that engagein selling merchandise without transforming or rendering servicesinvolved in after sale. There are two types of retail practitioners,the store retailers who have a specific location from where they selltheir produce and the non-store retailers, who do not have a definedlocation for selling their products. The store retailers selldirectly to household consumers as well as other retailers and offerafter sales services to their clients. On the other hand, thenon-store retailers only sell their products to the householdconsumers and do not provide after sales services. The retail sectorhas seen great improvements since the twentieth century, where thefoundations of trade in New Brunswick were laid. The twentiethcentury saw to the construction of various means of transport thataided in the transportation of merchandise. Further, there wasenactment of policies that protected traders, motivating peopleengage in trade. Recent developments such as signing of trading pactssuch as the CKFTA have greatly improved retail trade in NewBrunswick, promoting retail trade. The development of retail tradehas had a significant contribution to the economy, employing morethan ten percent of the population and adding to the total GDP.


Kukucha,C. J. (2008). The provinces and Canadian foreign trade policy.Vancouver: UBC Press.

Lopez,J. H., Shankar, R., &amp World Bank. (2011). Gettingthe most out of free trade agreements in Central America.Washington, D.C: World Bank.

MQOResearch, (2012). AProfile of the Retail Trade and WholesaleTrade Sector in NewBrunswick.Retrieved from

Racine,L. (2013). NewBrunswick Merchandise Trade with the World.Economics resources and international affairs Division. Retrievedfrom

Rees,R. (2014). NewBrunswick: An illustrated history.Halifax, Nova Scotia : Nimbus Publishing.