Retail trade, June 2019
Sales in the retail trade sector were essentially unchanged in June. Stronger sales across most subsectors were offset by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations. Excluding sales in these two subsectors, monthly retail sales advanced 1.7%.
Sales were down in 4 of 11 subsectors, representing 48% of retail trade.
After removing the effects of price changes, retail sales in volume terms increased 0.4%.
Retail sales for the second quarter increased 1.2%, while retail volumes edged up 0.1%.
Lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations
Following increases in April and May, sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers declined 2.5% in June. The subsector decline stemmed primarily from lower sales at new car dealers (-3.2%). According to the New Motor Vehicle Sales Survey, unit sales of new motor vehicles were down 5.2% on a year-to-date basis.
Sales at gasoline stations (-3.4%) were down for the first time in five months. According to the Consumer Price Index, the price of gasoline declined 8.0% in June on an unadjusted basis. In volume terms, sales at gasoline stations were up 1.1%.
Following inclement weather in parts of the country in May, sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+6.0%) and general merchandise stores (+3.0%) both picked up in June.
Clothing and clothing accessories stores (+4.2%) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (+3.7%) recorded increases in June. These gains also followed inclement weather in May and coincided with the Toronto Raptors playing in and winning the NBA championship in June.
Likewise, the Monthly Survey of Food Services and Drinking Places reported a 1.0% increase in June.
Sales down in four provinces
Retail sales decreased in four provinces and more than offset gains across the rest of the country.
Retail sales in Saskatchewan declined 2.7% in June as a result of lower sales at gasoline stations and, to a lesser extent, motor vehicle and parts dealers.
In Quebec, retail sales were down 0.4% as a result of lower sales in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Montréal, where sales dipped 1.5% in June.
Following declines in both April and May, all Atlantic Provinces posted gains in June. Nova Scotia (+2.8%) had the largest increase, followed by New Brunswick (+2.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+2.9%) and Prince Edward Island (+3.0%).
In Ontario (+0.1%), sales continued their upward trend, rising for the fifth consecutive month.
E-commerce sales by Canadian retailers
The figures in the following sections are based on unadjusted (that is, not seasonally adjusted) estimates.
On an unadjusted basis, retail e-commerce sales totalled $1.9 billion in June, accounting for 3.4% of total retail trade, compared with 1.8% of total retail trade in June 2016—the year when official monthly statistics for e-commerce were first published. On a year-over-year basis, retail e-commerce increased 30.7%, while total unadjusted retail sales were down 0.3%.
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.
For information regarding cannabis statistics, consult the Cannabis Stats Hub.
Seasonally adjusted estimates for cannabis store retailers are presented in unadjusted form as there is no seasonal pattern established by official statistics yet. Establishing such a pattern requires several months of observed data. In the interim, the seasonally adjusted estimates for cannabis store retailers will be identical to the unadjusted figures.
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 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 September 9.
Data on retail trade for July will be released on September 20.
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 Elizabeth Chretien (613-951-0027; firstname.lastname@example.org), Retail and Service Industries Division.
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