Retail sales declined for the second consecutive month in Friday’s StatCan retail sales release for January 2021: -1.1% month over month vs December 2020. For comparison, in December 2020, sales went down -3.4% month over month. Still, January monthly sales declined less than StatCan’s preliminary prediction that January sales would see a -3.3% decline, a preliminary estimate shared in their December sales release.
January Core Retail sales were down -1.4% month over month, and up +5.8% year over year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores (-17.8%) led the monthly decline, down for a fourth consecutive month. Sales at food and beverage stores were flat in January (+0.1%), driven by lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-1.9%). In January e-commerce made up 7.8% of total retail sales, which is +110.7% year over year.