Retail Trade, March 2015, published May 22

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in Featured | Comments Off on Retail Trade, March 2015, published May 22

Retail sales in March were $42.5 billion, up 0.7% from February and an increase of 3.1% from March 2014.  Excluding sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers and by gasoline stations, retail sales were up by 5.7% from March 2014.  

Retail sales in volume terms were up 0.1% from February.  Increases in month-over-month sales were reported in 7 of 11 sectors representing 71% of retail trade.  March 2015 sales over March 2014 were  up in six provinces.  British Columbia led the way with a 7.9% sales gain, followed by Ontario (+5.9%) and New Brunswick (+2.8%).  The largest loss was recorded in Nova Scotia (-4.5%), followed by Saskatchewan (-4.4%).    Quebec reported a 2.2% increase over March 2014.

Sales in the building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers sector in March were $2.5 billion, up 1.6% from February  and an 11.0% gain from March 2014.  This was the twelfth straight annualized increase for the industry.  It was the foutth consecutive monthly gain.

The motor vehicle and parts dealers sector saw sales grow 1.5% from February and increase by 7.8% from March 2014.  Gasoline station sales were down 0.5% from February.  This was the eighth loss in the last nine months.  Gasoline station sales fell by 17.4% from March 2014.

Sales at food and beverage stores were up 1.3% from February to March and grew by 4.3% from March 2014 to March 2015.  Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores increased 0.5% from a month earlier and were up 3.0% from March 2014.  Beer, wine and liquor store sales increased 9.6% in March 2015 over March 2014.

General merchandise stores sales decreased 2.4% from February but  were 5.2% higher than in March 2014, standing at $5.5 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 declined 2.3% from February but were up 2.3% from March 2014.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages account for approximately 25% of sales at general merchandise stores.

Sales at furniture and home furnishings stores were up 2.0% from February at $1.4 billion and increased 4.3% from March 2014.  Sales at electronics and appliance stores declined 0.2% from February to $1.3 billion.  They were up 4.2% from March 2014.  Sales at health and personal care stores gained 1.7% from February to $3.2 billion.  They were up 5.0% from March 2014.