Retail trade, July 2018
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Retail sales rose 0.3% to $50.9 billion in July on higher sales at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations. Excluding the lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales increased 0.9%.
Sales were up in 8 of 11 subsectors, representing 54.8% of total retail sales.
After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms decreased 0.1%.
Sales rise at food and beverage stores and gasoline stations and fall at motor vehicle and parts dealers
Sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.3% in July. The gain was led by higher receipts at supermarkets and other grocery stores (+1.2%). Sales at beer, wine and liquor stores (+1.5%) and convenience stores (+3.3%) increased for the fifth consecutive month.
Sales at gasoline stations rose 1.9%, largely stemming from higher prices at the pump as sales in volume terms were relatively unchanged in July.
Electronics and appliance stores (+2.4%) increased for the fourth consecutive month.
Motor vehicle and parts dealers (-1.4%) declined for the second month in a row. Lower sales at new car dealers (-2.2%) contributed to the decline while all other store types within this subsector reported gains.
According to the New Motor Vehicle Sales Survey, unit sales of new motor vehicles were down 0.2% on a year-to-date basis in July. However, 2017 was a record year, with unit sales surpassing the 2-million mark. In the first seven months of 2017, unit sales of new motor vehicles were up 5.0%.
Sales up in eight provinces
Retail sales increased in eight provinces in July.
Quebec (+0.4%) posted the largest increase in dollar terms. Higher receipts at food and beverage stores and, to a lesser extent, motor vehicle and parts dealers, offset a decline in health and personal care stores. Sales in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Montréal rose 1.0%.
Retail sales in Alberta (+0.6%) rose for the sixth time in seven months, largely due to higher sales at gasoline stations and food and beverage stores.
Widespread gains among most retail subsectors were behind the growth in Nova Scotia (+2.1%), where sales rose for the first time in three months, and Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.5%), where sales were up for the first time in four months. Retail sales in New Brunswick (+1.7%) continued their upward trend, rising for the third month in a row.
Sales were up in Ontario (+0.1%) for the third consecutive month, on the strength of gasoline stations and health and personal care stores. Within the CMA of Toronto, retail sales rose 0.2%.
Sales in British Columbia (-0.5%) declined for the third consecutive month. Lower sales were reported by motor vehicle and parts dealers. Sales in the CMA of Vancouver fell 1.6%.
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 totalled $1.3 billion, representing 2.5% of total retail trade. On a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce rose 9.4%, while total unadjusted retail sales increased 3.8%.
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 terms 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 tables 20-10-0054-01 and 20-10-0079-01 will be updated on October 1.
Data on retail trade for August will be released on October 19.
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.