Q3 Industry Update - Canadian Retail Sector


Quarterly Update

Retail Sales Rebound

Canada’s retail sales increased 18.7% in May compared to the prior month when many retailers were closed due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, according to Statistics Canada. Retail sales rose in 10 of 11 sub-sectors, led by motor vehicle and parts dealers (with an increase of 66.3%); general merchandise stores (+20.4%); clothing and clothing accessories stores (+92.6%); sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (+101.2%), and furniture and home furnishings stores (+58.6%).


Sales for food and beverage stores were down slightly after strong growth in March and April as consumers stocked up on essentials. E-commerce accounted for about 8% of total retail trade in May 2020 and was up nearly 113% compared to May 2019.


According to preliminary estimates, Statistics Canada expects June retail sales to rise another 24.5%. However, some economists project retail activity will slow in the second half of 2020 as pent up demand wanes, the economy and labour markets remain weak, and federal assistance programs wind down.


News Spotlight

"Retail Sales Jumped 23% in June, Enough to Get Back Above Where They Were Before COVID-19"

Full Article in CBC News

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