Lower record retail sales in march in Canada

Baisse record des ventes au détail en mars au Canada

Photo: Darryl Dyck, The canadian Press
According to Statistics Canada estimates, approximately 40 % of retailers have closed their doors during the month.

Retail sales in Canada posted their biggest monthly decline ever recorded in march, and Statistics Canada has warned Friday that the declines for the month of April was even more important.

Retail sales declined 10 % to $ 47.1 billion in march, the agency said in the federal, business, non-essential, which started to close their doors in the middle of the month due to the pandemic. According to estimates, about 40 % of retailers have closed their doors during the month.

However, Statistics Canada has also noted that a preliminary estimate for April indicated a decline of 15.6 % could be recorded for April, the first full month of a pandemic.

Economist Josh Nye, of the Royal Bank, has estimated that there was ” a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel “, since the data of the bank show that expenditures began to climb towards the end of April. “This trend should continue in may, especially now that some retailers are allowed to reopen,” wrote Mr. Nye in a report. “But it will be a long road to recovery for [many players] in the industry. The security protocols will limit the traffic in stores and consumers will likely remain cautious due to health problems and economic. “

The decline in march came as sales have registered a dip to a record 35.6 % at dealers of motor vehicles and parts. The declines have also been reported for stores clothing and clothing accessories, and service stations, with decreases respective of 51,3 % and 19.8 %.

But, while Canadians have stopped buying certain items, the sales of other items have soared, consumers are providing essential items for the home. The sales of food stores increased by 22.8 % and those of general merchandise stores increased by 6.4 %, reaching their highest levels ever recorded and making their monthly gains, the most important.

Many retailers have responded with measures to combat the pandemic in opening or expanding their e-commerce activities. According to Statistics Canada, retail sales for the electronic commerce totaled $ 2.2 billion in march, which represented an increase of 40.4 % compared to last year.

These last few days, the provinces have begun to loosen the restrictions that have been put in place. However, the economist Omar Abdelrahman, TD Bank, has warned that the spending habits of consumers would be likely to be a little different in the foreseeable future. “In a recent report, we pointed out that the household savings rate is expected to increase in the face of an economic uncertainty high, which is also present on the labour market, which should encourage consumers to exercise caution, and away from purchases of discretionary,” said Mr Abdelrahman.


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