Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Canadian Retail Sales Up, Says Stats-Can

Statistics Canada reports that retail sales in Canada rose 0.7% during the month of August, reaching approx. $34.5 billion. Surprisingly, sales from new car dealers took top ranks with 3% growth.

But home furnishing and electronic stores also showed strong growth at 1.5%, representing the second consecutive increase over 1% in the category. This category also rose 10.5% when compared to August 2006! The consistent rise was reported to be due, in large part, to home electronics and appliances specifically, which rose a whopping 3.7% in sales: the most drastic rise seen since February 2005. When compared to the same period last year, the category rose an impressive 15.7%. More good news for the industry: sales in the furniture, home furnishings, and electronics stores sector have not dropped since spring last year.

The strongest sales growths were found in P.E.I. (2.5%) and Ontario (2%), fueled mainly by new car dealer sales. Provinces that experienced a decline in retail sales included Alberta (0.5%); Nova Scotia (0.7%); Manitoba (0.2%); and Northwest Territories (1.7%).

This holiday shopping season will prove a critical one for the retail landscape in Canada. Retailers like Wal-Mart have already made announcements that they'll be dropping prices in the wake of the strong Canadian dollar. Wal-Mart Canada President & CEO Mario Pilozzi presented a letter to the company's suppliers in attempt to negotiate lower prices. Meanwhile, Hudson's Bay Co. also announced that it would slash prices at all 298 Zellers outlets across Canada, due in large part to the rising Canadian buck.

One thing's for sure: the 2007 holiday shopping season will certainly work in the consumer's favour. If there's ever a time to get the best value for your money, this is it. Happy shopping!


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that in the stat-analysis, only specific provinces are mentioned.I'm curious as to how the balance did individually

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi Anonymous,

I mentioned the most significant results from the study, which may have left some provinces in the dark. Here's a direct link to the full Statistics Canada report.

Thank you for the comment!