Parkdale Village Businesses Embracing Retail Technology

May 30, 2013
Big changes sometimes come in small packages. Or, at least, so is the case with Square Inc., the plug-in point-of-sale technology invented by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Easily attached to an iPhone, iPad or Android handheld device, Square allows customers to pay for items using their credit card – and lets businesses avoid paying hefting fees associated with traditional POS systems like Moneris, which is actually owned by BMO and RBC. (Square does charge a 2.75 percent processing fee per transaction, though, but this works out to be quite minimal and affordable in comparison.) Square came to Canada less than a year ago, but it’s already changing the face of Main Street retail. Take Parkdale’s Crown Flora Studio, for example. Co-owner Adam Mallory was recently interviewed by the Toronto Star on his experience with the miniature POS system. Read full story here > And Crown Flora isn’t the only local business embracing this convenient new retail technology; Shawn Skeir Gallery is also a fan. “Square lets me conduct sales both in my gallery and in my studio,” says Skeir. “My customers appreciate the option of paying with credit, and I have been able to take advantages of sales that maybe I would have missed without [the technology].” square

Recently, at the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) Annual General Meeting held at Scotia Plaza, Executive Director John Kiru shared trends and activity in Main Street retail. Although big box retail is taking considerable revenues away from small business, it’s important for consumers to remember that shopping local has a ripple effect. For every dollar spent on Main Streets, 67 cents goes back into the community, versus only 53 cents with big box (which are most often foreign-owned).

It is retail technologies like Square that are indirectly benefiting communities such as Parkdale by helping its small business owners not miss out on credit purchase opportunities.

A great way to learn more about the retail industry’s latest trends and innovative technologies is STORE 2013: The Evolution of Retail, taking place at Toronto Congress Centre on June 4th and 5th. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Retail Council of Canada offers this informative conference to more than 300 business attendees for networking, education and advancement. Due to popular demand, grocery-specific content and an independent retailers section have been added. For more information please visit