Retail Trade, March 2014, published May 22

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Featured | 0 comments

Retail sales in February were $41.1 billion, a decrease of 0.1% from February but up 3.9% from March 2013.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 2.6%  from March 2013.

Retail sales in volume terms declined 0.2% from February.  Decreases in month-over-month sales were reported in 7 of 11 sectors representing 59% of retail trade.  March 2014 sales over March 2013 were up in all provinces.  Alberta led the way with an 11.1% sales gain, followed by Saskatchewan (+9.1%) and Manitoba (+4.1%).   Ontario recorded a 2.2% gain over March 2013, while Quebec’s increase  over the same period was 1.9%.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in March were $2.2 billion, down 0.4% from February and a 1.4% loss from March 2013.  This was the second consecutive annualized decrease for the industry.  It was the sixth monthly decline in the past seven months.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales decline 0.7% from February but grow by 4.5% from March 2013.  Gasoline station sales were up 0.8% from February.       This was the fifth consecutive monthly increase.  Gasoline station sales grew by 9.5% from March 2013.

Sales at food and beverage stores were up 0.4% from February to March and grew by 1.4% from March 2013 to March 2014.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores increased 0.4% from a month earlier but were also up 0.4% from March 2013.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 3.0% in March 2014 over March 2013.

General merchandise stores sales decreased 0.3% from February but were 6.0%
higher than in March 2013, standing at $5.2 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 0.4% from
February but were up 3.0% from March 2013.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages
account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 1.2% from February at $1.3 billion but decreased 1.0% from March 2013.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores grew 1.7% from February to $1.2 billion.  They were up 1.4% from March 2013.  Sales at health and personal care stores fell 0.4% from February to $3.1 billion.  They were up 9.1% from March 2013.