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Retail trade, July 2014

Released: 2014-09-23

Following six consecutive monthly gains, retail sales paused in July, edging down 0.1% to $42.5 billion. Sales declined in 5 of 11 subsectors, representing 55% of retail trade.

In volume terms, retail sales were flat in July.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Retail sales edge down in July - Description and data table
Retail sales edge down in July

Chart 1: Retail sales edge down in July - Description and data table

Lower sales at general merchandise stores

Sales at general merchandise stores decreased 2.7% in July, giving back some of June's gains. Weaker sales were reported by both store types within the subsector, as other general merchandise stores (-3.6%) and department stores (-1.5%) declined.

Sales at food and beverage stores were down 0.8%. Supermarkets and other grocery stores declined 1.1% in July while sales at beer, wine and liquor stores were essentially unchanged from June.

Following three consecutive monthly increases, sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores declined 2.3% in July. Lower sales were reported at clothing stores (-2.4%), shoe stores (-3.0%) and jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores (-0.1%).

Sales at gasoline stations declined 0.3% in July, mainly reflecting lower prices at the pump.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers advanced for the third time in four months, up 1.6% in July. Sales at new car dealers (+2.5%) more than offset lower sales at other motor vehicle dealers (-5.4%), automotive parts, accessories and tire stores (-1.5%) and used car dealers (-0.1%).

Store types traditionally associated with housing purchases and home renovation showed continued growth in July. Receipts at furniture and home furnishings stores (+4.0%) advanced for the sixth time in seven months. Sales at building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers (+0.6%) grew for the fourth consecutive month.

Following declines in May and June, sales at electronics and appliance stores increased 0.1% in July.

Sales down in four provinces

Retail sales were down in four provinces in July. Lower sales in Quebec and, to a lesser extent, British Columbia, accounted for most of the decrease.

Following three consecutive monthly advances, sales in Quebec decreased 1.3%. Sales were lower at supermarkets and other grocery stores and general merchandise stores.

In British Columbia (-0.4%), lower sales were registered across most store types.

Sales in Manitoba (-0.5%) decreased for the first time in five months.

Sales in Ontario (+0.2%) and Alberta (+0.3%) were up in July, as higher sales at new car dealers more than offset decreases at most other store types.

In Saskatchewan, retail sales rose 1.1% on the strength of higher sales at new car dealers and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers.

In Nova Scotia (+1.6%), receipts increased for the fourth consecutive month as higher sales were registered across most store types.

Newfoundland and Labrador (+1.9%) posted higher sales for the sixth consecutive month.

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 data in this release are seasonally adjusted and in current dollars, unless otherwise noted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

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 July 2014 issue of Retail Trade (Catalogue number63-005-X) will soon be available.

Data on retail trade for August will be released on October 22.

Contact information

For more information, or to order data, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

For analytical information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Jason Aston (613-951-0746; jason.aston@statcan.gc.ca), Retail and Service Industries Division.

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