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Retail trade, November 2014

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Released: 2015-01-23

Retail sales rose 0.4% in November to $43.0 billion. Unseasonably cold weather, the timing of new product releases, as well as promotional events contributed to higher sales.

Gains were reported in 5 of 11 subsectors, representing 27% of retail trade.

In volume terms, sales rose 0.8%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Retail sales increase in November - Description and data table
Retail sales increase in November

Chart 1: Retail sales increase in November - Description and data table

Clothing and footwear lead retail sales rise in November

Unseasonably cold weather and early snowfalls, along with promotional events during the month of November, contributed to a 5.2% increase in sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores. Within this subsector, higher receipts were reported at clothing stores (+4.9%) and shoe stores (+13.4%).

Higher sales of clothing and footwear contributed to gains at general merchandise stores (+2.0%) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (+4.6%).

Electronics and appliance stores posted their sixth consecutive monthly sales gain, advancing 4.6%. Sales in this subsector have been trending upwards since early 2014 on the strength and timing of new product releases.

Following gains in September and October, receipts at food and beverage stores declined 0.5%. The decrease was largely attributable to lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.4%) and beer, wine and liquor stores (-1.0%).

Sales at gasoline stations declined 0.8%, the fifth straight monthly decrease, reflecting lower prices at the pump.

Receipts at motor vehicle and parts dealers (-0.3%) decreased for the second consecutive month. Lower sales at new car dealers (-0.5%) and other motor vehicle dealers (-1.2%) accounted for most of this decline. Sales advanced at both used car dealers (+0.9%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+2.1%). Declines in October and November at the subsector level have not offset the gain in September.

Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-1.1%) posted lower sales in November.

Sales up in seven provinces

Retail sales increased in seven provinces in November.

In British Columbia (+1.9%), retail sales advanced for the fourth consecutive month. Gains were widespread among most store types.

Higher sales were reported in Ontario (+0.3%), as higher sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores as well as electronics and appliance stores more than compensated for lower sales at new car dealers. This was the seventh gain in eight months.

Sales in Quebec increased 0.4%, largely as a result of higher sales at department stores and, to a lesser extent, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores.

Manitoba reported an advance of 1.2% on the strength of higher sales at new car dealers.

In the Atlantic region, higher sales were reported in three of four provinces. Retail sales rose in Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.2%), New Brunswick (+1.2%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.1%). Receipts were down in Nova Scotia (-0.1%) for the fourth month in a row.

Retail sales in Alberta declined 0.6%, largely as a result of lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

Lower sales were reported in Saskatchewan (-0.6%) for the second consecutive month.

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

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

  Note to readers

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Total retail sales expressed in volume are calculated by deflating current dollar values using consumer price indexes. The retail sales series in chained (2007) dollars is a chained Fisher volume index with 2007 as the reference year. For more information, see Calculation of Volume of Retail Trade Sales.

The November 2014 issue of Retail Trade (Catalogue number63-005-X) will soon be available.

Data on retail trade for December 2014 will be released on February 20, 2015.

Contact information

For more information, or to order data, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jason Aston (613-951-0746;, Retail and Service Industries Division.

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