Retail trade

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Related subjects

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]
April 2011 (Previous release)

Retail sales increased 0.3% to $37.4 billion in April. Gains were reported in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 71% of retail sales. Excluding sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales were flat.

In volume terms, sales rose 0.2%.

Retail sales increase in April

The largest increase among the subsectors in April was registered at motor vehicle and parts dealers (+1.7%). Sales at new car dealers (+1.1%) advanced for a second consecutive month. Gains were also reported at other motor vehicle dealers (+8.3%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+6.0%). Used car dealers (-2.2%) reported the only decline.

Sales at furniture and home furnishing stores rose 3.2%, more than offsetting the decline in March. Furniture stores accounted for most of the gain, rising 3.9%.

Gasoline station sales rose for a third consecutive month, up 0.5% in April and the 9th increase in 10 months.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers registered the largest decline in April, falling 2.8%. Higher than normal precipitation was recorded across Canada.

After increasing for three consecutive months, sales at general merchandise stores were down 0.3%. Declining sales at other general merchandise stores (-1.7%) were offset by gains at department stores (+1.2%).

Sales at electronics and appliance stores decreased 1.2% in April, following a 2.2% rise in March. Sales in this subsector have been relatively flat since the third quarter of 2010.

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music store sales fell 1.2%, a fifth consecutive decrease.

Sales up in half of the provinces

Retail sales rose in five provinces in April. Alberta (+1.6%) posted the largest increase in sales with widespread gains across store types.

Note to readers

All the data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted.

Total retail sales by volume are measured by deflating values in current dollars of the various trade groups using consumer price indexes. This retail sales in chained dollars series (2002) is a chain Fisher volume index with 2002 as the reference year.

Sales in British Columbia rose for a third month in a row, increasing 1.3%.

In dollar terms, Quebec (-0.4%) reported the largest decline in sales. This was the third decrease in four months.

Lower sales were posted in three of the four Atlantic provinces in April. Sales fell in Prince Edward Island (-3.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (-2.4%) and New Brunswick (-1.9%), after advancing in March.

It is possible to consult the tables of unadjusted data by industry and by province and territory from the Tables by subject module of our website.

For information on related indicators, refer to the Latest statistics page on our website.

Available on CANSIM: tables 080-0020 and 080-0021.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 2406 and 2408.

The April 2011 issue of Retail Trade (63-005-X, free) will be available shortly.

Data on retail trade for May will be released on July 22.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (613-951-3549; toll-free 1-877-421-3067; For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mark Switzer (613-951-7137), Distributive Trades Division.