Canadian Retail Sales Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Retail sales for the second quarter of 2021 came down from recent highs, indicating that the second quarter rebound is over, says Ed Strapagiel, a retail consultant. In fact, the quarter only looked as good as it did because the second quarter of 2020 was so bad. Overall retail sales still increased 10.8 per cent year-over-year for the three months ending July, but half of that was due to the automotive and related sector which is now getting softer after its own rebound. After a significant rise earlier in the year, the underlying 12-month trend has now flattened out and is poised to deteriorate going forward. Strapagiel says, “More or less, Canadian retail sales are heading back to pre-pandemic levels but with some ups and downs along the way. As shoppers return to stores, eCommerce retail sales growth has also slowed down to a more normal level. Things are still in flux, however, and it may be many months before they settle down.” Overall, eCommerce represented about 6.5 per cent of retail sales, with bricks-and-mortar location-based retailers showing $17 billion in eCommerce sales for the 12 months ending July 2021.