Retail Sales in Canada Continue Ticking Upward - eMarketer
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Retail Sales in Canada Continue Ticking Upward

Q2 sales were up 2.9% year over year

August 30, 2016

Retail sales in Canada were up about 2.9% in Q2 2016 compared with the same period the prior year, according to data from Statistics Canada. The increase came after stronger 4.5% growth in Q1.

Retail Sales in Canada, Q1 2014-Q2 2016 (billions of C$)

This year’s retail sales—excluding sales from pure-play digital retailers—have repeated the traditional pattern of a post-holiday Q1 slump each year followed by a return to form in Q2. This year, Q2 sales were up nearly 23% over the previous quarter, for example—though they were just 2.3% higher than sales in Q4 2015.

The largest share of in-store sales in Canada has gone to motor vehicle and parts dealers each year since 2013, when sales in the sector surpassed those at food and beverage stores.

Retail Sales in Canada, by Industry, 2011-2015 (billions of C$)

Both categories still have a strong focus on brick-and-mortar sales. While some car sales have moved online, most purchases still happen the old-fashioned way, along with just about all repairs.

The same general idea is true of food and beverages—while interest in grocery delivery is certainly growing, people often still want to pick out their produce themselves, or ask the butcher for a special cut of meat.

eMarketer estimates that total retail sales in 2016 will reach C$522.62 billion ($408.78 billion) in 2016, up 1.7% over 2015. Retail ecommerce sales will grow much faster, by 14.9%, but still account for just 6.5% of the total.

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