SWG CGL: Top Trends in Canada’s Retailer Industry

Sep 2021

Canada’s retail industry sells consumer goods and related services through its stores to the general public. Often, large retail firms have their own warehouse facilities and, in some cases, manufacture private-label goods in their own factories.


Between 2012 and 2019, the Canadian retail trade industry grew continually. There was an increase of 1.6 percent in retail trade sales that year from 2018. In 2020, however, sales declined by nearly 1.5 percent due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read on to discover the newest trends affecting the retail industry in Canada.


Retailers in Building Materials, Garden Equipment, Groceries Saw the Biggest Sales Increases


Dealerships that deal in motor vehicles and parts suffered a nearly nine percent decline in retail sales in 2020, while dealers dealing in new cars suffered a nearly 12-percent decline.


By contrast, supermarkets, building material suppliers, and garden equipment suppliers were positively impacted by rising retail sales in 2020. At the start of the pandemic, sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores increased nearly 12 percent. Meanwhile, with consumers spending more time at home, sales at building material and garden equipment suppliers rose significantly. In December 2020, year-over-year change was around 11 percent, but month-over-month change was nearly 20 percent higher than in December 2019. (1)


Retailers are Evolving their Omnichannel Capacity to Lower Costs


By connecting production and consumption, the retail sector has direct and indirect effects on the Canadian economy. Online purchasing, in-store pick-ups (or ship-from-store) and home delivery agreements proliferated in 2020 and COVID-19 only intensified these trends as retailers evolved omnichannel capacities. More retailers were turning to omnichannel experiences and leveraging store locations to lower the costs of fulfilling orders. (2)


Online Stores Encounter Familiar Risks


Over 90% of Canadians plan to do the same amount or more of online shopping after COVID as they did before. Every business, however, comes with a certain amount of risk. Digitalizing a business involves both traditional risks such as inventory theft, as well as online risks like cyber attacks and data breaches.


Even though a business may do most, if not all, of its business online, it may also have a brick-and-mortar location that needs protection against the day-to-day risks associated with dealing with third parties, such as claims of bodily injury or property damage.


For example, when a customer visits a retail store to pick up an order, they trip over the threshold, injure their wrist, and sue for bodily injury. No matter how the lawsuit turns out, CGL typically covers legal expenses and medical fees.


SWG CGL – Commercial General Liability Insurance


SWG CGL – Commercial General Liability insurance is designed to protect the products or services of small and large businesses. As careful as you might be, there are unforeseen events that can happen to every business. Protect your hard work with a policy that fits your needs.


Whether you’re a store owner, office professional or wholesaler, commercial general liability insurance coverages can be customized to protect you against the unique risks and exposures you face.


SWG CGL – Commercial General Liability policy protects your business from financial loss should you be liable for property damage or personal and advertising injury caused by your services, business operations or your employees. It covers non-professional negligent acts for which you might become responsible.


Coverage Highlights:

● Cross liability

● Contingent employer’s liability

● Product Completed Operations coverage (Broad Form)

● Our policies are on occurrence form, we can however also offer claims made option

● Our policies can offer enhancement coverage to include, Faulty Workmanship, Product Recall coverage, Employee Benefit, Employer’s Comprehensive Bodily Injury Liability, Sub-limits for Errors & Omissions, as well as Manufacturer’s E&O and Employment Practices Liability

● Limits up to $5,000,000

● Deductibles start at $1,000 and can be customized to the size of the business or type of operation

● Coverage can be provided for sales Worldwide including U.S., but turnover limitations for U.S.

Further Coverage Details:

● Landscapers/Gardening for others, including Fertilizer, Pesticide or Herbicide application. Excluding any snow removal exposure.

● Pet Care and Product Sales, Wholesale, Manufacturing.

● Farmers a/o Antique Markets.

● Mobile Food Vendors and Take-out Restaurants *excluding Liquor*

We Cover:

Includes but is not limited to the list below.

● Contractors

● Cosmetics

● Beauty and Therapies (excluding Tanning Booths)

● Excess & Umbrella

● Manufacturers

● Paintball & Laser Tag

● Processors

● Recycling and Sanitation

● Remediation

● Retailers

● Wholesalers

● Landscapers/Gardening

● Pet Care and Product Sales

● Farmers a/o Antique Markets

● Mobile Food Vendors

For more information, visit our product page at https://swgins.com/product/swg-cgl.html


Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.



  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/431661/sales-of-retail-trade-in-canada/
  2. https://www.euromonitor.com/retailing-in-canada/report#