Retail trade, June 2017
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Retail sales rose for the fourth consecutive month in June, edging up 0.1% to $49.0 billion. Sales were up in 6 of 11 subsectors, representing 38% of total retail trade.
Higher sales at general merchandise stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores, and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers offset lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations. Excluding the latter two subsectors, retail sales were up 1.1%.
After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms increased 0.5%.
Retail sales rise
Sales at general merchandise stores rose 2.9% in June, the largest gain in dollar terms and the fifth increase in six months.
Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores rose 2.7%. Higher sales at clothing stores (+3.3%) and shoe stores (+5.3%) both followed decreases in May. Jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores sales (-3.7%) were down for the first time since February 2017.
Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+2.2%) rose for the 9th time in 10 months.
Following a 2.3% gain in May, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers decreased 1.4%. Lower sales at new car dealers (-2.0%) accounted for the decline at the subsector level, more than offsetting gains at the other store types. Sales at automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+1.2%) rose for the fifth consecutive month.
Following a 1.2% decline in May, sales at gasoline stations decreased 1.8% in June, in part due to lower gasoline prices.
Sales up in five provinces
Retail sales were up in five provinces in June.
British Columbia (+1.9%) reported the largest increase in dollar terms, with gains in 8 of 11 subsectors. This was the fourth consecutive month of growth.
Retail sales in Quebec rose 0.6% in June, primarily on the strength of higher sales at general merchandise stores and other motor vehicle dealers.
Sales in Alberta (+1.0%) increased for the 10th time in 11 months, with gains across most store types. Retail sales in Alberta have now surpassed the level prior to the downturn in world oil prices in late 2014.
Ontario reported a 0.7% decline, largely stemming from lower sales at new car dealers.
Retail sales increase in two of three census metropolitan areas measured
Nearly 30% of total retail sales take place in Canada's three largest census metropolitan areas (CMAs), Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. Historically, only unadjusted data series were available for these CMAs, but starting with this month's release, seasonally adjusted series are now available.
In June, seasonally adjusted retail sales rose in two of the three CMAs measured. Retail sales in Vancouver (+3.5%) and Montréal (+0.6%) increased, while Toronto reported a 2.4% decline.
E-commerce sales by Canadian retailers
The figures in this section are based on unadjusted (that is, not seasonally adjusted) estimates.
On an unadjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales were $1.2 billion in June, accounting for 2.2% of total retail trade. On a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce increased 43.5%, while total unadjusted retail sales rose 8.8%.
Summary tables of unadjusted data by industry and by province and territory are now available.
For information on related indicators, refer to Latest statistics.
Note to readers
All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and expressed in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.
Statistics Canada's retail e-commerce figures include the electronic sales of two distinct types of retailers. The first type do not have a storefront. These businesses are commonly referred to as 'pure-play' Internet retailers and are classified to North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 45411—Electronic Shopping and Mail Order Houses. The second type have a storefront and are commonly referred to as 'brick and mortar' retailers. If the online operations of a brick and mortar retailer are separately managed, they too are classified to NAICS 45411.
Common electronic commerce transactions, such as travel and accommodation bookings, ticket purchases and financial transactions are not included in Canadian retail sales figures. For more information on individual Internet use and e-commerce, consult the most recent release of the Canadian Internet Use Survey and/or the Survey of Digital Technology and Internet Use.
For more information on retail e-commerce in Canada, see Retail E-Commerce in Canada.
Total retail sales expressed in volume are calculated by deflating current dollar values using consumer price indexes. The retail sales series in chained (2012) dollars is a chained Fisher volume index with 2012 as the reference year. For more information, see Calculation of Volume of Retail Trade Sales.
For information on trend-cycle data, see the StatCan Blog and Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.
Real-time CANSIM tables
Data on retail trade for July will be released on September 22.
For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).
For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jason Aston (613-951-0746; email@example.com), Retail and Service Industries Division.