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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

September 18, 2020


Nova Scotia's retail sales declined from June to July after two months of rapid gains.  Compared to Feb20, Nova Scotia's retail sales were 2.2 per cent below their pre-pandemic levels. 

National retail sales continued to rebound for the third consecutive month are are now 1.1 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.  Only Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Ontario retail sales remain below pre-pandemic levels. 

Month-over-month (Jul20 vs Jul19, seasonally adjusted)

Nova Scotia's retail sales declined 1.4 per cent to 1,350.2 million in Jul20.  Retail sales increased 0.6 per cent nationally. Five provinces reported monthly increases in retail trade, with British Columbia (2.1 per cent) reporting the largest gain. Prince Edward Island reported the largest decline (7.3 per cent). 


Year-over-year (Jul20 vs Jul19, seasonally adjusted) 

Nova Scotia's retail sales were down 1.7 per cent from Jul19.  Retail Trade increased 2.7 per cent nationally. Eight provinces reported year-over-year increases in retail trade, with New Brunswick (7.3 per cent) reporting the largest gain. Prince Edward Island reported the largest decline (3.7 per cent). 


Nova Scotia Sectors (Jul20 vs Jul19, unadjusted)

Unadjusted Retail Trade decreased 0.2 per cent ($2.4 million) to $1.52 billion.

Retails sales were up for:

  • Furniture increased 20.6 per cent
  • Electronics increased 31.8 per cent
  • Building Material increased 8.8 per cent
  • Food & Beverage increased 6.2 per cent
  • Sporting & Hobbies increased 8.9 per cent
  • General Merchandise increased 13.9 per cent
  • Miscellaneous Stores increased 3.1 per cent

Retails sales were down  for:

  • Motor Vehicle decreased 7.0 per cent
  • Health decreased 7.5 per cent
  • Gas Stations decreased 15.0 per cent
  • Clothing decreased 11.3 per cent



Canada Sectors: (Jul 2020 vs Jul 2019, seasonally adjusted)

Declines in retail sales were reported in 

  • Clothing stores: -12.9% per cent and
  • Gas stations: -14.5% per cent

Increases were reported in

  • Motor vehicle/parts dealers: 1.3% per cent
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores: 11.4% per cent
  • Miscellaneous stores: 12.5% per cent
  • Building material and garden equipment stores: 4.6% per cent
  • Health and personal care stores: 3.3% per cent
  • Food and beverage stores: 8.4% per cent
  • General merchandise stores: 11.2% per cent
  • Electronics and appliance stores: 6.2% per cent
  • Furniture stores: 6.0% per cent



Canada's e-commerce sales (unadjusted) were $2.8 billion in Jul20, up 63.2 per cent over Jul19.  E-commerce accounted for 4.8 per cent of retail trade in Jul20.  


 Year-over-Year Sectors (July 2020 vs July 2019, unadjusted)








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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