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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

October 21, 2020



MONTH OVER MONTH (seasonally adjusted Aug 2020 to Jul 2020)

  • In Nova Scotia Retail Trade increased 4.4 per cent to $1,422.7 million.
  • Nationally, Retail Trade increased 0.4 per cent to $53.2 billion.
  • Seven provinces reported monthly increases in retail trade, with
    • Prince Edward Island (6.9 per cent) reporting the largest gain and
    • Manitoba (1.6 per cent) and Alberta (1.6 per cent) reported the largest declines



YEAR OVER YEAR (seasonally adjusted Aug 2020 vs Aug 2019)

  • Nova Scotia Retail Trade increased 4.8 per cent.Albera
  • Nationally, Retail Trade increased 3.5 per cent.
  • Nine provinces reported increases in retail trade, with
    • Manitoba (8.4 per cent) reporting the largest gain and
    • Alberta (0.6 per cent) reporting the only decline


YEAR TO DATE (seasonally adjusted Jan-Aug 2020 to Jan-Aug 2019)

  • Nova Scotia Retail Trade decreased 5.4 per cent
  • Nationally, Retail Trade decreased 5.0 per cent
  • All provinces reported year-to-date declines in retail trade, with
    • Newfoundland and Labrador (0.8 per cent) reporting the smallest decline and
    • Alberta (6.4 per cent) and Ontario (6.6 per cent) reported the largest declines




Canada and Nova Scotia (2013 to 2020)

Nova Scotia's retail sales declined sharply in March 2020 (-10.4%) to April 2020 (-23.4%) and recovered with rapid gains in May 2020 (+21.4%) and June 2020 (+19.5%).  Compared to February 2020, Nova Scotia's August 2020 retail sales were 3.0 per cent above their pre-pandemic levels. 

National retail sales continued to rebound for the fourth consecutive month are now 1.8 per cent above pre-pandemic levels. Only Prince Edward Island (-1.0%), Ontario (-0.6%) and Alberta (-1.1%) retail sales remain below pre-pandemic levels. 




Canada (unadjusted, August 2020)

  • In August, Canada's e-commerce sales were $2.8 billion, 5.2 per cent of total retail sales.
  • On a year-over-year basis), retail e-commerce sales increased 60.6 per cent.
  • On a year-to-date basis, retail e-commerce sales increased 68.7 per cent to $22.2 billion.





YEAR TO DATE (unadjusted Jan-Aug 2020 to Jan-Aug 2019)

Retail Trade decreased 5.8 per cent (-$625.3 million)

Retails sales were up for:

  • Building Material increased 11.8 per cent ($90.6 million)
  • Food & Beverage increased 7.5 per cent ($177.9 million)
  • General Merchandise increased 9.3 per cent ($112.7 million)
  • Miscellaneous Stores increased 4.2 per cent ($11.9 million)

Retails sales were down for:

  • Motor Vehicle decreased -19.4 per cent ($591.5 million)
  • Furniture decreased -12.8 per cent ($34.3 million)
  • Electronics decreased -5.1 per cent ($5.0 million)
  • Health decreased -0.5 per cent ($4.5 million)
  • Gas Stations decreased -17.4 per cent ($232.8 million)
  • Clothing decreased -36.1 per cent ($126.4 million).
  • Sporting & Hobbies decreased -15.1 per cent ($24.0 million)




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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