Retail Trade, December 2013, published February 21

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Featured | 0 comments

Retail sales in November were $40.2 billion, a decrease of 1.8% from November
and up 3.4% from December 2012.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts
dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 1.1%  from December 2012.   

Retail sales in volume terms fell 2.2% from November.  Decreases in month-over-month sales were reported in 9 of 11 sectors representing 79% of retail trade.  Total retail sales for 2013 were $477.4 billion, up 2.5% over the same period last year.  December 2013 sales over December 2012 were up in all provinces.  Alberta led the way with a 7.3% sales gain, followed by Quebec (+3.9%) and British Columbia (+3.2%).   Ontario recorded a 2.6% gain over December 2012.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in November were $2.1 billion, down 8.2% from November and a 5.0% decline from December 2012.  This was the first annualized loss following six consecutive year-over-year increase for the industry.  Total retail sales  for 2013 were $27.3 billion, up 1.0% over the same period last year.  Sales had been relatively flat for the first half of 2013, but, with the exception of December’s results,  had strengthened since.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales decrease 3.2% from November but grow by 8.7% from December 2012.  Gasoline station sales were up 3.5% from November and increased by 5.5% from December 2012.

Sales at food and beverage stores were unchanged from November to December. This  mainly reflected sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores, which were down 0.2% from a month earlier.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores were down 1.0% from December 2012.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 2.3% in December 2013 over December 2012.

General merchandise stores sales decreased 1.9% from November but were 5.3%
higher than in December 2012, standing at $5.0 billion.  “General merchandise stores”
include department stores, warehouse clubs, superstores and home and auto supplies
stores and account for 12% of total retail sales.  Department store sales fell 7.6% from
November but were up 5.6% from December  2012.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages
account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were down 7.8% from November at $1.2 billion and decreased 7.0% from December 2012.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores dropped 13.1% from November to $1.1 billion.  They were down 6.7% from December 2012.  Sales at health and personal care stores gained 1.3% from November.  They were up 4.9% from December 2012.