Operating Revenue Declined In 2020

Retail customers spent $669.6 billion at Canadian store and non-store retailers in 2020, leading to a slight decline of 0.1 per cent in operating revenue compared with the previous year, says Statistics Canada. Retail prices notably increased for passenger vehicles (up 2.4 per cent), food purchased from stores (up 2.4 per cent), fresh vegetables (up three per cent), and meat (up 4.5 per cent). Furthermore, inflation slowed to 0.7 per cent in 2020 following a 1.9 per cent increase in 2019, as lower gasoline prices offset higher food costs. Additionally, retail sales in volume terms fell by two per cent in 2020 while retail eCommerce sales grew 85.7 per cent. eCommerce operating revenue accounted for 7.8 per cent ($52.5 billion) of total store and non-store retail revenue in 2020, up from 4.2 per cent in 2019. The gross margins of retailers rose slightly, from 26.5 per cent in 2019 to 26.8 per cent in 2020. Gross margins grew in six of the 11 retail subsectors, the strongest gains recorded by electronics and appliance stores (up 2.8 per cent) and gasoline stations (up 0.8 per cent). However, the cost of goods sold by store retailers decreased by 1.7 per cent to $460.1 billion in 2020.