Business directory

Quebec uses an online business directory to encourage consumers to buy local

Many stores in the Canadian province of Quebec, like others around the world, have tried to maintain themselves through online sales and pickup during the pandemic.

To help, the Quebec government announced this spring an initiative called Le Panier Bleu. The goal is to move people away from online retail giants like Amazon to local products.

It is an online directory that Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation, said during a press briefing, is intended to help local stores compete with retail giants at retail online.

“When people go to Amazon, they often go there to see what products are out there. So, we want to reproduce the same thing and we want the Blue Basket to be essentially a depository for all Quebec products offered by Quebec companies, ”said Fitzgibbon.

Nearly 20,000 companies had registered to appear on the site in June. The initiative also includes a marketing campaign.

A poll conducted by an opinion firm for the Blue Basket found that 60% of Quebecers had heard of it and, of these, half said they had increased their local purchases.

The website comes at a key moment, according to Francine Rodier, professor of marketing at the University of Quebec in Montreal. She said a shock like the pandemic can produce rapid changes in shopping habits. And customers who make a habit of shopping on Amazon can be hard to find for local stores, even if they start to reopen.