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Retail trade, November 2013

Released: 2014-01-23

Retail sales rose 0.6% in November to $41.0 billion, the fourth increase in five months. This increase was largely attributable to higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers as well as electronics and appliance stores.

Gains were observed in 9 of 11 subsectors, accounting for 72% of retail trade. Weather and the timing of new product releases had a greater effect on monthly sales than promotional events in November such as Black Friday.

In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.8%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Retail sales increase in November - Description and data table
Retail sales increase in November

Chart 1: Retail sales increase in November - Description and data table

Retail sales rise in November

A 1.2% increase at motor vehicle and parts dealers accounted for the largest sales gain among all subsectors. Sales were up 0.6% at new car dealers. Early winter snowfalls across much of the country influenced sales of seasonal items at other motor vehicle dealers (+5.5%) and automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (+4.2%).

After increasing 3.0% in October, sales at electronics and appliance stores (+6.4%) advanced for the second consecutive month on the strength of new product releases.

November's 1.0% increase in sales at gasoline stations did not offset October's decline.

General merchandise store receipts rose 0.8% in November, a fourth increase in five months. Sales at department stores (+3.5%) more than offset a decline in sales at other general merchandise stores (-1.4%).

Colder weather and earlier than normal winter snowfalls advanced the purchase of winter merchandise at clothing and clothing accessories stores (+1.1%).

Following three consecutive monthly gains, receipts at food and beverage stores declined 1.1% in November. The decrease was largely attributable to lower sales at supermarkets and grocery stores (-1.4%) and to a lesser extent convenience stores (-2.0%).

Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (-1.5%) were down for the second consecutive month.

Sales up in seven provinces

Retail sales rose in seven provinces in November.

British Columbia (+1.4%) reported the largest increase in dollar terms, in part due to higher sales at department stores. This was the third gain in four months.

In Quebec (+0.9%), sales advanced for the third straight month.

Higher clothing, footwear and accessories sales contributed to a 0.4% increase in Ontario.

Retail sales in Saskatchewan (+1.0%) increased for the third time in four months.

Lower sales were reported in the Atlantic provinces, with the exception of Nova Scotia (+0.2%), where sales rose for the eighth time in nine months.

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

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

  Note to readers

All the data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

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.

The November 2013 issue of Retail Trade (Catalogue number63-005-X) will soon be available.

Data on retail trade for December 2013 will be released on February 21.

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 Kimberley Evans (613-951-0502;, Distributive Trades Division.

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