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Annual retail trade, 2011

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Released: 2013-03-27

Store and non-store retailers' operating revenue increased 4.6% in 2011 to $488.2 billion. In dollar terms, gasoline stations, motor vehicle and parts dealers and non-store retailers accounted for more than 70% of the total operating revenue growth.

Gasoline stations recorded the largest increase in total operating revenue, up 17.4% in 2011 to $58.1 billion, which reflected higher prices at the pumps.

Non-store retailers' operating revenue was up 16.4% in 2011. In this subsector, fuel dealers recorded the largest increase in dollar terms, up 21.3% compared with the previous year, also a reflection of higher fuel prices.

Cost of goods sold for retailers, which represented 73% of their total operating revenue, rose 5.2% in 2011. Total operating expenses, which includes labour remuneration, was up 3.2%.

Retailers' operating profits as a share of operating revenue was 4.9% in 2011, a slight narrowing from 5.0% in 2010. Operating profits as a percentage of total operating revenue were down in 8 of the 12 retail subsectors in 2011. The largest decline was reported by the furniture and home furnishings stores with operating profits of 4.4% in 2011, down from 5.6% in 2010.

Store retailers turned over their merchandise 5.8 times in 2011, maintaining similar rates compared with 2010.

Store retailers (excluding non-store retailers) are divided into chain stores and non-chain stores. Chain stores, defined as operating four or more locations within the same industry group and under the same legal ownership, have been incrementally increasing market share for more than 10 years.

Chain stores accounted for more than half of total operating revenue in retail trade in British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Alberta in 2011, well above the national average of 48.4%.

Retailers (excluding non-store retailers) reached their clientele through different methods. The majority of retailers' revenue in 2011 was from in-store sales (96.0%). Other methods of sale were e-commerce (0.9%), catalogue, mail order or telephone (0.9%) and all other methods (2.2%).

  Note to readers

This release combines data from the Annual Retail Trade Survey and the Annual Retail Non-store Survey. Operating profit is obtained by subtracting total operating expenses plus the cost of goods sold from total operating revenues. The ratio is expressed as a percentage of the total operating revenues.

The publication Annual Retail Trade, 2011 (Catalogue number63-270-X), is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information or to order data, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136;

For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Leslie Poon (613-951-0393;, Distributive Trades Division.

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