November In-Store Pre-Holiday Retail on Target
Original release date: January 21, 2022
Black Friday and Last-Minute sales kick off a moderately healthy holiday season. All Stores grew by 7.0% compared to November 2020, while All Stores Less Automotive grew by 4.6%. All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies, which encompasses what could be considered the “gift” categories, grew by a strong 7.8%.
Overall, Canada’s November sales were not as strong as their US counterparts. Supply chain issues have hit Canada harder, as exemplified by one of the weakest categories this month, Electronics and Appliance Stores, which dropped by -7.8% compared to 2020. This category was also heavily affected by the chip shortage. However, compared to 2019 the category is still up 11.6%, so the outlook is positive.
While a number of other categories are reporting negative or flat numbers compared to 2020, the 2019 comparison shows that November was still a productive month, proving once again the profound effect that COVID-19 has had on retail’s landscape. This includes Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores (-3.0% year-over-year, 18.7% compared to 2019), Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronic and Appliance Stores (-3.1% year-over-year, 16.2% compared to 2019), and Health and Personal Care Stores (1.6% year-over-year, 13.7% compared to 2019).
Clothing Stores was the strongest category this month, growing 25.5% year-over-year and 2.9% compared to 2019. This is healthy growth for the category considering how many retailers shuttered during the peak pandemic. The brands that remain, such as Aritzia, which reported a 58% sales growth in Q3, are stronger than ever. In November, the omicron variant had just started to take hold. With holiday travel and fears of renewed lockdowns on the horizon, how will December perform?