Number of Canadians shopping in stores increases during May: report


Published July 21, 2020 at 11:06 pm


Good news for local retailers wary about Canadians turning to online shopping, the number of Canadians shopping in physical stores is on the rise.

The numbers reported recently from Statistics Canada found that the number of Canadians shopping in stores saw an increase during May compared to April.

According to the findings, May saw a month-over-month increase in the number of retail sales of 18.7 per cent.

Despite this, the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) suggests recovery for most retailers will be very slow throughout the next several months.

Additionally, despite the increase from April to May, the year-over-year retail sales from May 2019 to May 2020 decreased by 5.5 per cent—core retail sales excluding groceries decreased 12 per cent.

Further, although most retail subsectors including furniture, clothing, footwear, and sporting goods, saw an increase in sales during May, they’re still far from what they were before the pandemic.

This suggests brick-and-mortar stores are still facing significant challenges—particularly stores that rely on sales from tourists or business travel as both are happening at a much lower degree.

The report from Statistics Canada found that e-commerce made up eight per cent of retail trade in May. However, RCC believes that number is actually higher—in the realm of 13 per cent—due to the fact online sellers such as Amazon are categorized as warehouses and therefore, not included in the calculation.

Moreover, back-to-school shopping, which is an important consumer spending period, could be impacted as the Province has yet to announce whether students will be back in classrooms come the fall—many universities have already announced they will be holding classes virtually for the fall semester.

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