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Retail trade, July 2015

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Released: 2015-09-23

Retail sales

$43.3 billion

July 2015


(monthly change)

Retail sales rose for the third consecutive month in July, up 0.5% to $43.3 billion. Sales increased in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 55% of retail trade. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and clothing and clothing accessories stores accounted for most of the gain.

In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.2%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Retail sales up in July
Retail sales up in July

New car dealers lead gain

Motor vehicle and parts dealers (+2.0%) recorded the largest gain in dollar terms across all subsectors, due to higher sales at new car dealers (+2.7%). This was the subsector's sixth consecutive monthly increase, as well as its largest rise since September 2014. The gains recorded since February have largely been due to higher sales of new trucks. Sales at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores were relatively unchanged from June. Lower sales were reported at other motor vehicle dealers (-1.7%) and used car dealers (-1.5%).

For the first time in three months, clothing and clothing accessories stores (+2.5%) registered gains, as clothing stores (+2.8%), shoe stores (+1.5%) and jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores (+1.6%) all advanced in July.

Sales at general merchandise stores increased 0.3% in July.

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music store sales continued their recent upward trend, rising 1.5% in July.

Lower receipts were reported at food and beverage stores (-0.5%). Sales at both beer, wine and liquor stores (-1.9%) and supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.3%) were down for the second time in three months. Convenience stores reported a 0.3% decline in sales. Specialty food stores (+2.0%) recorded the lone gain within the subsector, as their sales rose for the fifth time in six months.

Following an 8.0% increase in June, sales at electronics and appliance stores declined 1.7% in July. New regulations limiting the duration of cellular telephone contracts continued to influence sales. Video game and console product bundling also boosted sales in this subsector.

Sales at gasoline stations (-0.2%) edged down for the first time in six months.

Sales up in six provinces

Retail sales rose in six provinces in July.

Ontario (+1.0%) contributed the most to the national increase, advancing for the sixth consecutive month. Sales in July were up in most store types.

Retail sales in Alberta rose 0.5%, their fifth increase in seven months. Despite these recent gains, sales remained below the peak reached in September 2014.

Sales in Manitoba (+1.8%) advanced for the fifth time in six months on the strength of higher sales at new car dealers.

Sales were up slightly in Quebec (+0.2%) for the third month in a row. Gains at new car dealers partially offset sales declines at most other store types.

Higher sales were reported for the fourth consecutive month in both Nova Scotia (+0.8%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+0.8%). Gains were recorded across most store types in Nova Scotia, while the increase in Newfoundland and Labrador was largely the result of higher sales at new car dealers.

In British Columbia (-0.4%), lower sales at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations more than offset the sales gains at new car dealers.

In Saskatchewan (-0.3%), retail sales were down for the third consecutive month, after increasing the previous three months.

Following a peak in June, sales in New Brunswick edged down 0.1%.

It is possible to consult tables of unadjusted data by industry and by province and territory in the Summary tables 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 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."

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM tables 080-8020 and 080-8024 will be updated on September 30. For more information, consult the document "Real-time CANSIM tables."

Next release

Data on retail trade for August will be released on October 22.


The July 2015 issue of Retail Trade (Catalogue number63-005-X) will soon be available.

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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