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Canadian Retail Sales (April) - June 19, 2020

Posted by Ron Neal on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 at 3:25am.

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Canadian Retail Sales (April) - June 19, 2020

Seasonally-adjusted Canadian retail sales fell by a staggering 26% in April to $35 billion. The largest drop since the data became available in 1991. About one-third of retailers were closed in April, while in the clothing subsector it was 70%. Sales were down in all subsectors for the first time since 1993, led by auto dealers (-44%), gas stations (-32%), and food and beverage stores (-13%). 

Sales were down in all provinces for the second consecutive month in April, leading the decline were Ontario (-33%) and Quebec (-28%). In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were down by 21% at $5.6 billion, while Vancouver sales were down by 24%. All subsectors were hit hard with the largest monthly declines reported in clothing (-67%), sporting/hobby (-50%), furniture stores (-47%), and at gas stations (-35%). The only increase was at building material and garden equipment stores (4%).

The shutdown of physical stores caused many retailers to shift or expand their online presence. E-commerce sales were up by 120% in April year-over-year at $3.4 billion. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, e-commerce in April went from accounting for 5% of total retail to almost 10%. This excludes Canadians purchasing from foreign e-commerce retailers.      

Advance estimates provided by Statistics Canada for May indicates retail sales increased by 19%. This reflects the gradual reopening of some provinces and pent up demand. However, the magnitude and speed of what could possibly be the start of a retail recovery will depend on consumers' willingness to venture out, and on how quickly individuals can return to work/have their work hours increased.

For more information, please contact:

Brendon Ogmundson
Chief Economist
604.742.2796
bogmundson@bcrea.bc.ca 
Kellie Fong
Economist
778.357.0831
kfong@bcrea.bc.ca 

BCREA is the professional association for more than 23,000 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province’s 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research, and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients.

To demonstrate the profession's commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that help ensure economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, preserve the environment, protect property owners and build better communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.

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The Neal Estate Team

The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions. 


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