Finance & Taxation | Store Operations

Retail By The Numbers

StatCan’s Retail numbers for November indicate a +0.1% growth in core-retail sales. This past November, there was a disruption in the postal system. StatCan’s numbers confirm that the effect of the postal dispute was more nuanced than portrayed in the media at large, with both retailers saying online sales were or were not impacted. These data confirm the belief of RCC’s Retail Conditions Report in December, that there was almost no impact on total company sales.

Black Friday was good for Retailers – now the largest shopping day of the year in Canada. Most retailers have reported to RCC that same store sales were up for Black Friday / Cyber Monday (up around 5% on average).

On an adjusted basis, healthy increases month over month for Sporting, Hobby, Book and Music store sales, posting an increase of 0.89%, putting them on course to close out the year ahead, assuming December remains in line.

Core-Retail’s year over year numbers are looking strong, with a + 3.46% increase. RCC has been predicting that 2018 would mean a 3.0% growth for retail sales; even factoring in a slump in volume in early December in the wake of high Black Friday traffic, RCC anecdotally believes sales held in December, and that retailers realized increases, with margins holding flat, if not gently higher.

Canada’s Retail Growth; Seasonally Adjusted Sales

Percent Growth


Oct to Nov 2017 to 2018
 Total Retail Sales  – 0.93%  + 1.77%
Core Retail  + 0.19%  + 3.63%
 Auto parts  – 5.58%  + 1.09%
Retail Trade Furniture and home furnishings stores  – 0.45%  + 0.98%
Electronics Electronics and appliance stores  + 3.31%  + 5.68%
 Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers  – 0.34%  – 1.98%
Food and Grocery Food and beverage stores  – 0.85%  + 1.98%
Health Supplies Health and personal care stores  – 0.16%  + 5.01%
Clothing Clothing and clothing accessories stores  + 0.37%  + 6.43%
Sporting Goods Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores  + 0.89%  + 0.49%
General Merchendise General merchandise stores  + 0.81%  + 11.25%
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 20-10-0008-01 Retail trade sales by province and territory (x 1,000)


Retail By The Numbers is a monthly report from Retail Council of Canada that consolidates Statistics Canada data and presents a summary of key retail performance measures by sales sector, province, changes in price indices and employment.


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