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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

May 22, 2020
RETAIL TRADE, MARCH 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons of year-to-date averages and sums do not show Nova Scotia’s rapidly-changing economic situation.  The DailyStats will focus on year-over-year comparisons, comparing one month with the same month in the prior year.  Where possible the DailyStats will make comparisons of seasonally adjusted data from the pre-COVID-19 period (January  and February 2020) with the period during which COVID-19 measures were in place from March 2020 onwards.

 

In Nova Scotia March 2020, seasonally adjusted Retail Trade decreased 11.3 per cent over February 2020 to  $1.2 billion . In March 2020 vs March 2019, seasonally adjusted Retail Trade decreased 11.4 per cent.

Nationally, March 2020, seasonally adjusted Retail Trade decreased 10.0 per cent over February 2020 to  $47.1 billion. In March 2020 vs March 2019, seasonally adjusted Retail Trade decreased 8.4 per cent.

 

Canada and the Provinces

On a month over month basis, seasonally adjusted Retail Trade decreased 10.0 per cent nationally. Nova Scotia reported a decline (11.3 per cent) over the previous month. All provinces reported monthly declines in retail trade, with Saskatchewan (1.5 per cent)  reporting the smallest decline.  Quebec reported  the largest decline  (15.7 per cent).

On a year over year basis, seasonally adjusted Retail Trade decreased 8.4 per cent nationally. Nova Scotia reported a decline (11.4 per cent)  over the same month last year. All provinces reported year-over-year declines in retail trade, with British Columbia (3.2 per cent) reporting the smallest decline.  Quebec reported  the largest decline  (14.9 per cent).

Nova Scotia Sectors 

Unadjusted Year-over-year (Mar 2020 vs Mar 2019), Retail Trade decreased 13.7 per cent ($175.0 million)  to $1.1 billion.

In Nova Scotia  the largest declines in retail sales (Mar20 vs Mar19 unadjusted) were reported in 

  • Motor Vehicle with a 20% share of Retail Trade decreased 43.3 per cent ($165.4 million)
  • Furniture with a 2% share  decreased 24.1 per cent (-$8.1 million)
  • Electronics with a 1% share  decreased 12.8 per cent (-$1.5 million)
  • Gas Stations with a 12% share  decreased 20.8 per cent (-$33.7 million)
  • Clothing with a 2% share  decreased 51.7 per cent (-$22.9 million)
  • Sporting & Hobbies with a 1% share  decreased 25.0 per cent (-$5.0 million)
  • General Merchandise with a 13% share  decreased 2.1 per cent (-$3.0 million)

Nova Scotia's retails sales were up (Mar20 vs Mar19) for:

  • Building Material with a 7% share of Retail Trade increased 11.3 per cent ($7.8 million)
  • Food & Beverage with a 30% share  increased 15.6 per cent ($44.2 million)
  • Health with a 10% share  increased 9.4 per cent ($9.8 million)
  • Miscellaneous Stores with a 3% share  increased 10.4 per cent ($2.8 million)

 

 

Canada Sectors

Nationally, the largest declines in retail sales (Mar20 vs Mar19 unadjusted) were reported in 

  • Clothing stores: -54.1 per cent
  • Motor vehicle/parts dealers: -32.9 per cent
  • Furniture stores: -26.2 per cent
  • Gas stations: -23.3 per cent
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores: -21.9 per cent
  • Electronics and appliance stores: -3.1 per cent

National retails sales were up (Mar20 vs Mar19) for:

  • Food and beverage stores: +18.0 per cent
  • General merchandise stores: +6.2 per cent
  • Health and personal care stores: +5.5 per cent
  • Building material and garden equipment stores: +2.4 per cent

Canada's e-commerce sales for March 2020 amounted to a 5.0 per cent share of total retail trade

  • on a month-over-month basis, unadjusted retail e-commerce sales  increased 37.0 per cent  over February 2020 to $2.2 billion,   
  • on a year-over-year basis, unadjusted retail e-commerce sales increased 40.4 per cent over March 2019.

 

 

Cannabis stores

In Nova Scotia, March 2020, on a month-over-month basis, unadjusted retail cannabis store sales  increased 12.3 per cent  over February 2020 to $6.5 million and on a year-over-year basis, unadjusted retail cannabis store sales  increased 0.3 per cent  over March 2019.  This represents a 3.6%  share of the Canadian market.

In Canada, March 2020, on a month-over-month basis, unadjusted retail cannabis store sales  increased 19.2 per cent  over February 2020 to $181.1 million and on a year-over-year basis, unadjusted retail cannabis store sales  increased 2.0 per cent  over March 2019. 

TABLES & SELECTED FIELDS

 

Statistics Canada Citations 

Table 20-10-0072-01 Retail E-commerce sales, unadjusted (x 1,000)

Table 20-10-0008-01 Retail trade sales by province and territory (x 1,000)

 

 

 



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