Canadian retail sales increased 3.6% m/m on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March. Sales were higher in 10 of 11 sub-sectors, led by higher sales at garden equipment and building stores. Excluding more volatile sectors like motor-vehicles and gasoline sales , retail sales were up 4.7% in February. Statistics Canada also released a preliminary estimate for April showing retail sales declined 5.1% as enhanced “circuit-breaker” measures were implemented in many provinces to stem the third wave of COVID-19.
In BC, seasonally-adjusted retail sales were down 1.1% m/m as COVID-19 cases surged through the month of March. Retail sales fell 2% m/m in Metro Vancouver . On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, BC retail sales were up by 20% compared to the same time last year.
In March, Canadian e-commerce sales rose 58.5% year-over-year to $3.7 billion, accounting for 6.3% of total retail sales. The share of e-commerce was down 0.7 percentage points as more brick-and-mortar stores were open to in-person shopping.