Pricing Behind 2019 Sales Growth

In 2019, retail customers spent $670.6 billion at Canadian store and non-store retailers, leading to a modest growth of 2.5 per cent in operating revenue for the retail trade industry over 2018, says Statistics Canada. This increase was largely attributable to higher prices as retail sales in volume terms fell by 0.1 per cent in 2019. Other factors that affected the financial position of retailers in 2019 were a slowdown in household demand, upward pressure from wages, exchange rate pressures, and global trade tensions, including tariffs on certain goods from the United States. In 2019, retail eCommerce sales grew by 26.1 per cent, representing a second consecutive year of strong growth. eCommerce operating revenue accounted for 4.2 per cent ($28.1 billion) of total store and non-store retail revenue in 2019. Non-store retailers accounted for 67.2 per cent of total eCommerce revenue, which came primarily from electronic shopping and mail-order houses online sales. The gross margins of retailers fell slightly, from 26.6 per cent in 2018 to 26.4 per cent in 2019.