Retailers prepare to round prices up or down as penny disappears.
Local businesses in Regina were free to start rounding their prices up or down to the nearest nickel starting Monday, after the Royal Canadian Mint officially stopped distributing the copper coins.
Pat Bohn, who owns a Brandee's convenience store, started taking the guess work out of rounding up; changing prices of items at the store weeks ago, so that with taxes, they end with a zero or five. But not everything can round perfectly-- for example Brandees needs to take the hit on the one-cent tax when they sell a few five cent candies. She says the business will lose a bit on small items like that but most customers are happy to get rid of the penny.
She says re-pricing is a hefty task that will be a gradual change.
Brett Jameson, who works at Sunshine and Ski, says they're ahead of the game.
"The past little while the till has been short of pennies. I can't remember the last time we went and picked up a roll so we've been rounding up or rounding down for the past couple of weeks here. We found more often than not we say 'sorry man, we don't have any pennies in the till' and I can't remember the last time someone had a problem with getting their pennies."
Meanwhile, Bohn stocked up on 50 penny rolls on her last trip to the bank. She is worried she'll run out, and plans to keep giving exact change until that happens.
But so far there has been no shortage of pennies. Earlier on Sunday the cashier had received a handful of penny rolls to pay for a purchase.
She replied "oh yeah, we'll accept pennies" when asked if they will continue to take them.