body id="other-en">
Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Retail trade

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

February 2009 (Previous release)

Retail sales edged up 0.2% in February to $33.7 billion (in current dollars). This comes after large declines in retail sales in November and December, followed by a partial recovery in January. February's slight increase was price-driven, as sales were down 0.3% in volume terms.

Retail sales

Sales rose in five of eight retail sectors. The largest contributors to the increase in February were building and outdoor home supplies stores (+3.0%) and food and beverage stores (+0.7%). Higher sales at building and outdoor home supplies stores did not offset the declines observed in the previous two months, which totalled about 7%. As for food and beverage stores, the increase mostly reflects higher sales at beer, wine and liquor stores.

The largest decline was a 1.9% decrease in sales at furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores in February. Sales in this sector have decreased each month since July 2008.

The automotive sector posted a 0.3% sales decrease, mainly reflecting a 1.6% decline in the value of sales at new car dealers. Partially offsetting this decline was increased sales at gasoline stations, which rose for the second month, mainly reflecting higher prices at the pump.

Sales in Quebec and Ontario lead gains

Sales rose in five provinces, with gains in Quebec (+1.1%) and Ontario (+1.0%) providing the largest contribution to the increase. Offsetting these advances were declines in Alberta and British Columbia, which both fell by 1.3%.

Note to readers

Total retail sales by volume are measured by deflating values in current dollars of the various trade groups using consumer price indexes. This retail sales in chained dollars series (2002) is a chain Fisher volume index with 2002 as the reference year.

Unadjusted monthly estimates were revised back to January 2008, while seasonally adjusted estimates were revised back to January 2005. Factors influencing revisions include late receipt of respondent information, correction of information on data provided, the replacement of estimated figures with actual values (once available), the re-classification of companies within, into and out of the retail trade industry and updates to seasonal and trading day factors. Since seasonal factors are continually changing, revisions may be more significant for some months of the year. However, the annual sum of seasonally adjusted figures corresponds to the annual sum of unadjusted estimates.

Estimates in constant prices were also revised to reflect the annual revision of the retail sales series in current dollars from 2005 onward.

Sales in the Atlantic provinces were essentially flat as higher sales in Newfoundland and Labrador were offset by lower sales in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Table 1

Retail sales
  February 2008 November 2008r December 2008r January 2009r February 2009p January to February 2009 February 2008 to February 2009
  Seasonally adjusted
   $ millions % change
Automotive 12,556 11,244 9,990 10,278 10,250 -0.3 -18.4
New car dealers 6,440 5,840 5,001 5,224 5,141 -1.6 -20.2
Used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers 1,632 1,646 1,575 1,569 1,565 -0.3 -4.1
Gasoline stations 4,483 3,758 3,414 3,485 3,544 1.7 -21.0
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores 2,578 2,510 2,440 2,417 2,370 -1.9 -8.1
Furniture stores 859 820 794 783 771 -1.5 -10.3
Home furnishings stores 516 473 452 450 439 -2.4 -15.0
Computer and software stores 116 110 101 104 105 0.5 -9.7
Home electronics and appliance stores 1,087 1,107 1,093 1,080 1,056 -2.2 -2.8
Building and outdoor home supplies stores 2,264 2,271 2,137 2,115 2,177 3.0 -3.8
Home centres and hardware stores 1,837 1,853 1,724 1,697 1,754 3.3 -4.5
Specialized building materials and garden stores 427 418 413 417 423 1.4 -0.8
Food and beverage stores 7,798 8,198 8,089 8,267 8,326 0.7 6.8
Supermarkets 5,582 5,909 5,858 6,007 6,020 0.2 7.9
Convenience and specialty food stores 838 860 842 841 854 1.6 1.9
Beer, wine and liquor stores 1,378 1,429 1,388 1,419 1,452 2.3 5.4
Pharmacies and personal care stores 2,388 2,461 2,406 2,485 2,493 0.3 4.4
Clothing and accessories stores 2,024 1,981 1,913 1,970 1,970 0.0 -2.7
Clothing stores 1,551 1,513 1,465 1,511 1,514 0.2 -2.4
Shoe, clothing accessories and jewellery stores 473 468 448 459 456 -0.6 -3.7
General merchandise stores 4,169 4,337 4,319 4,322 4,340 0.4 4.1
Miscellaneous retailers 1,783 1,815 1,775 1,814 1,817 0.2 1.9
Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores 886 894 893 904 898 -0.8 1.3
Miscellaneous store retailers 897 921 882 909 919 1.1 2.5
Total retail sales 35,558 34,817 33,068 33,668 33,743 0.2 -5.1
Total excluding new car dealers, used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers 27,486 27,331 26,492 26,875 27,037 0.6 -1.6
Provinces and territories              
Newfoundland and Labrador 582 593 567 568 575 1.1 -1.3
Prince Edward Island 142 144 138 139 137 -1.4 -3.0
Nova Scotia 1,012 987 955 968 970 0.2 -4.1
New Brunswick 812 807 791 797 787 -1.2 -3.1
Quebec 7,962 7,877 7,624 7,615 7,699 1.1 -3.3
Ontario 12,549 12,343 11,555 11,966 12,082 1.0 -3.7
Manitoba 1,247 1,251 1,207 1,204 1,202 -0.2 -3.5
Saskatchewan 1,176 1,200 1,128 1,157 1,159 0.2 -1.5
Alberta 5,182 4,943 4,720 4,745 4,682 -1.3 -9.6
British Columbia 4,763 4,547 4,261 4,383 4,328 -1.3 -9.1
Yukon 45 43 41 42 42 -1.0 -6.9
Northwest Territories 62 56 56 55 54 -2.1 -12.0
Nunavut 25 26 26 26 26 0.4 3.2
revised
preliminary
Note(s):
Figures may not add up to total due to rounding.

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

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

Available on CANSIM: tables 080-0014 to 080-0017.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 2406 and 2408.

The February 2009 issue of the publication Retail Trade (63-005-XWE, free) will be available shortly.

Data on retail trade for March will be released on May 22.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (613-951-3549; toll-free 1-877-421-3067; retailinfo@statcan.gc.ca). For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mark Switzer (613-951-7137), Distributive Trades Division.

The Daily, Thursday, April 23, 2009. Retail trade g/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> The Daily, Thursday, April 23, 2009. Retail trade
Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Retail trade

February 2009 (Previous release)

Retail sales edged up 0.2% in February to $33.7 billion (in current dollars). This comes after large declines in retail sales in November and December, followed by a partial recovery in January. February's slight increase was price-driven, as sales were down 0.3% in volume terms.

Retail sales

Sales rose in five of eight retail sectors. The largest contributors to the increase in February were building and outdoor home supplies stores (+3.0%) and food and beverage stores (+0.7%). Higher sales at building and outdoor home supplies stores did not offset the declines observed in the previous two months, which totalled about 7%. As for food and beverage stores, the increase mostly reflects higher sales at beer, wine and liquor stores.

The largest decline was a 1.9% decrease in sales at furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores in February. Sales in this sector have decreased each month since July 2008.

The automotive sector posted a 0.3% sales decrease, mainly reflecting a 1.6% decline in the value of sales at new car dealers. Partially offsetting this decline was increased sales at gasoline stations, which rose for the second month, mainly reflecting higher prices at the pump.

Sales in Quebec and Ontario lead gains

Sales rose in five provinces, with gains in Quebec (+1.1%) and Ontario (+1.0%) providing the largest contribution to the increase. Offsetting these advances were declines in Alberta and British Columbia, which both fell by 1.3%.

Note to readers

Total retail sales by volume are measured by deflating values in current dollars of the various trade groups using consumer price indexes. This retail sales in chained dollars series (2002) is a chain Fisher volume index with 2002 as the reference year.

Unadjusted monthly estimates were revised back to January 2008, while seasonally adjusted estimates were revised back to January 2005. Factors influencing revisions include late receipt of respondent information, correction of information on data provided, the replacement of estimated figures with actual values (once available), the re-classification of companies within, into and out of the retail trade industry and updates to seasonal and trading day factors. Since seasonal factors are continually changing, revisions may be more significant for some months of the year. However, the annual sum of seasonally adjusted figures corresponds to the annual sum of unadjusted estimates.

Estimates in constant prices were also revised to reflect the annual revision of the retail sales series in current dollars from 2005 onward.

Sales in the Atlantic provinces were essentially flat as higher sales in Newfoundland and Labrador were offset by lower sales in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Table 1

Retail sales
  February 2008 November 2008r December 2008r January 2009r February 2009p January to February 2009 February 2008 to February 2009
  Seasonally adjusted
   $ millions % change
Automotive 12,556 11,244 9,990 10,278 10,250 -0.3 -18.4
New car dealers 6,440 5,840 5,001 5,224 5,141 -1.6 -20.2
Used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers 1,632 1,646 1,575 1,569 1,565 -0.3 -4.1
Gasoline stations 4,483 3,758 3,414 3,485 3,544 1.7 -21.0
Furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores 2,578 2,510 2,440 2,417 2,370 -1.9 -8.1
Furniture stores 859 820 794 783 771 -1.5 -10.3
Home furnishings stores 516 473 452 450 439 -2.4 -15.0
Computer and software stores 116 110 101 104 105 0.5 -9.7
Home electronics and appliance stores 1,087 1,107 1,093 1,080 1,056 -2.2 -2.8
Building and outdoor home supplies stores 2,264 2,271 2,137 2,115 2,177 3.0 -3.8
Home centres and hardware stores 1,837 1,853 1,724 1,697 1,754 3.3 -4.5
Specialized building materials and garden stores 427 418 413 417 423 1.4 -0.8
Food and beverage stores 7,798 8,198 8,089 8,267 8,326 0.7 6.8
Supermarkets 5,582 5,909 5,858 6,007 6,020 0.2 7.9
Convenience and specialty food stores 838 860 842 841 854 1.6 1.9
Beer, wine and liquor stores 1,378 1,429 1,388 1,419 1,452 2.3 5.4
Pharmacies and personal care stores 2,388 2,461 2,406 2,485 2,493 0.3 4.4
Clothing and accessories stores 2,024 1,981 1,913 1,970 1,970 0.0 -2.7
Clothing stores 1,551 1,513 1,465 1,511 1,514 0.2 -2.4
Shoe, clothing accessories and jewellery stores 473 468 448 459 456 -0.6 -3.7
General merchandise stores 4,169 4,337 4,319 4,322 4,340 0.4 4.1
Miscellaneous retailers 1,783 1,815 1,775 1,814 1,817 0.2 1.9
Sporting goods, hobby, music and book stores 886 894 893 904 898 -0.8 1.3
Miscellaneous store retailers 897 921 882 909 919 1.1 2.5
Total retail sales 35,558 34,817 33,068 33,668 33,743 0.2 -5.1
Total excluding new car dealers, used and recreational motor vehicle and parts dealers 27,486 27,331 26,492 26,875 27,037 0.6 -1.6
Provinces and territories              
Newfoundland and Labrador 582 593 567 568 575 1.1 -1.3
Prince Edward Island 142 144 138 139 137 -1.4 -3.0
Nova Scotia 1,012 987 955 968 970 0.2 -4.1
New Brunswick 812 807 791 797 787 -1.2 -3.1
Quebec 7,962 7,877 7,624 7,615 7,699 1.1 -3.3
Ontario 12,549 12,343 11,555 11,966 12,082 1.0 -3.7
Manitoba 1,247 1,251 1,207 1,204 1,202 -0.2 -3.5
Saskatchewan 1,176 1,200 1,128 1,157 1,159 0.2 -1.5
Alberta 5,182 4,943 4,720 4,745 4,682 -1.3 -9.6
British Columbia 4,763 4,547 4,261 4,383 4,328 -1.3 -9.1
Yukon 45 43 41 42 42 -1.0 -6.9
Northwest Territories 62 56 56 55 54 -2.1 -12.0
Nunavut 25 26 26 26 26 0.4 3.2
revised
preliminary
Note(s):
Figures may not add up to total due to rounding.

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

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

Available on CANSIM: tables 080-0014 to 080-0017.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 2406 and 2408.

The February 2009 issue of the publication Retail Trade (63-005-XWE, free) will be available shortly.

Data on retail trade for March will be released on May 22.

For more information, or to order data, contact Client Services (613-951-3549; toll-free 1-877-421-3067; retailinfo@statcan.gc.ca). For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Mark Switzer (613-951-7137), Distributive Trades Division.