Canadian Retail Market 2020/21

Retail sales reached $57.2 billion dollars in July, up 4.8% compared with the same month a year prior.
There is nothing normal about 2020 retail markets.  Total commodity sales are down. The unprecedented drop in Motor Vehicle sales was only partially offset by higher sales in Food and Beverage.

Note: Historically, Motor Vehicle and Food and Beverage sales account for over half of all retail sales.

Retail sales (x 1,000)

Statistics Canada released July numbers 2 months later than normal. Retailers appear to have problems submitting data to Stats Can.

Everything else
The Home and Home Office was the big topic of early 2020. Home renovations, technology upgrades and new kitchen appliances were in demand. The problem is that these purchases may have only brought forward purchases that would have been made later in the year during back-to-school and Christmas.

  • Will technology and appliances hit the highs of Christmas 2019?
  • Has working digitally eliminated traditional office supplies? (*) Business/corporate sales are not included.
  • Will hardware, tools & renovation remain above 2019 as they enter the normal fall slow down?

Retail sales (x 1,000)

Stats Can estimates, though no details have been released, that retail trade will increase 1.7% YOY in August. While an increase of 1.7% would normally be good for August it is a significant drop compared to the 4.8% YOY increase in July.

Retail commodity survey, retail sales (x 1,000)

Year-to-date July 2020 (x1,000)

The big question is  “ What is left to buy?”
Who has money left and will they spend it?
All I want for Christmas is a vaccine.

I have refrained from speculation. Every member is an expert in their category and will have their view on the next 12 months.I hope this helps. Comments, questions or discussions are most welcome.

Source: CHHMA/COPA Analyst Bob Smith rsmith@chhma.ca