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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

July 27, 2020

 E-commerce and In-store 

 In Canada, May 2020, Retail  E-commerce increased 2.3% over April 2020 to $3.9 billion. In the period February 2020 to May 2020, e-commerce has increased 99.3% or by $2.0 billion. On a year-over-year basis (May 2019 to May 2020), e-commerce increased 110.8%.

In April 2020, the impact of COVID-19 resulted in retail sales declining 29.1% over February 2020, and declining 26.4% over April 2019,  to $33.9 billion. In comparison e-commerce increased 63.8% while in-store sales declined 25.3% in April 2020. Total retail sales made a small recovery in May 2020 to $39.3 billion.



 Retail Sectors

 In the period February 2020 to Aporil 2020,  In-house retail trade declined 34.5% and e-commerce retail trade increased 94.8%.

  • In-house furniture and home furnishing stores declined 69.6% while e-commerce retail sales increased 191.2%.
  • In-house general merchandise store sales declined 15.1, while e-commerce general mechandise sales increased 170.1%.
  • In-house Sporting Goods & Hobby sales declined 79.0% while e-commerce sports and hobby sales increased 154.9%.
  • In-house Food & beverage sales increased 3.3%, and e-commerce Food and beverage sales also increased (107.0%).



Retail sales declined, in part, because many retail stores were required by law to remain closed. In March and April of 2020, the average number of days where retail stores were closed was 13 days, Clothing stores were, on average, closed 33 days, and Sporting goods and hobby stores were closed an average of 27 days.


 Future Impact


Many retail stores are increasingly taking advantage of the internet for processing retail transactions. In 2016 Electronics and appliance stores conducted 17.0% of their sales on-line. In the first five months of 2020 this has risen to 43.5% of their sales.

Other Retail outlets, such as Sporting and Hobby stores and Clothing stores have increased their e-commerce presencer to the 27.0% and 23.6% level. Since 2016 Retail trade e-commerce share of total sales has increased from 2.4% to 6.6%.


Source: Statistics Canada Daily, May 24, 2020











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