Retail Trade, January 2015, published March 20

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Featured | Comments Off on Retail Trade, January 2015, published March 20

Retail sales in January were $41.4 billion, down 1.7% from December but an increase of 1.2% from January 2014.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 3.6% from January 2014.    

Retail sales in volume terms were down 1.2% from December.  Decreases in month-over-month sales were reported in 7 of 11 sectors representing 83% of retail trade.  January 2015 sales over January 2014 were  up in six provinces.  British Columbia led the way with a 4.6% sales gain, followed by Ontario (+3.6%) and Prince Edward Island (+2.2%).  The largest loss was recorded in Saskatchewan (-3.1%), followed by Alberta (-2.3%).    Quebec reported a 0.7% decrease over January 2014.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in January were $2.4 billion, up 1.2% from December and a 7.3% gain from January 2014.  This was the tenth straight annualized increase for the industry.  It was the second monthly gain in the past six months.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales fall 1.4% from December but increase by 6.2% from January 2014.  Gasoline station sales were down 8.8% from December.  This was the seventh straight loss following nine consecutive monthly increases.  Gasoline station sales fell by 18.8% from January 2014.

Sales at food and beverage stores were down 1.2% from December to January but grew by 2.2% from January 2014 to January 2015.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores decreased 0.1% from a month earlier but were up 2.2% from January 2014.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 1.3% in January 2015 over January 2014.

General merchandise stores sales decreased 1.1% from December but  were 3.0% higher than in January 2014, standing at $5.3 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 grew 1.4% from December and were up 3.3% from January 2014.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were down 2.1% from December at $1.3 billion but increased 5.0% from January 2014.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores gained 3.8% from December to $1.3 billion.  They were up 7.0% from January 2014.  Sales at health and personal care stores lost 0.6% from December to $3.1 billion.  They were up 2.1% from January 2014.