July retail sales numbers weak overall - StatCan - Retail Council of Canada
Finance & Taxation | National | Store Operations

July retail sales numbers weak overall – StatCan

September 28, 2021

StatCan released July’s retail sales numbers last week, showing disappointing results. Total sales decreased -0.6% from June, following a bigger +4.2% bump from May to June and the loosening of spring lockdowns. August results are expected to be better, estimated at +2.1% monthly. Year on year, total sales in July were still up +5.3%, and core retail was also up +3.1%. 

On the other end, e-Commerce retail sales were at their lowest level since February 2020, and on an unadjusted basis were down -2.9% year over year (-19.5% if seasonally adjusted). This category amounted to $2.9 billion in July, accounting for 4.6% of retail trade.

Much of this decline was driven by lower sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-7.3%) and food and beverage stores (-3.4%), with the latter coinciding with restaurants and bars reopening.

Clothing and accessories store sales up 7.6% MoM, the highest level since pre-COVID (15.8% YoY).