Discretionary Spend Remains Low as Canadian Retail Sales Remain Consistent
Release date: November 24, 2023
Canadian retail sales grew 2.4% YOY for All Sales in September as they continue on a path of slight growth. However, All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies were down -1.0% YOY as discretionary spend continues to decline even further.
JCWG would be remiss if not to mention how Black Friday is currently fairing in Toronto as today’s release happens to fall on Black Friday. Observations in downtown Toronto show lower than expected early traffic, with footfall at the CF Eaton Centre following suit. Considering 40% of consumers were planning to shop on Black Friday according to a RCC/Leger study, JCWG is a little surprised. However, this is likely as a result of continued work-from-home with many offices, and Friday being a very common day to stay home. Suburban shopping centres are likely to experience higher traffic today as people leave on their lunch breaks or after work to try to stock up on gift giving purchases for the upcoming holidays.
As with other months throughout summer 2023, wildfires had a significant impact on sales regionally throughout Canada. Retail sales in the Territories experienced a decline of -6.6% YTD, largely due to the fires in the Northwest Territories. In addition to fires, we continue to see lower sales in the most expensive provinces as inflation continues to grow, with British Columbia and Ontario only up 0.4% and 0.6% YTD respectively.
Last month we discussed the changes in laws in B.C. to crack down on short-term rentals and suspected they would have an effect on Ontario, more specifically Toronto. This week, the Government of Canada announced they will be limiting income tax reductions for short-term rentals on a federal level. As previously reported, we suspect this will continue to hit those who sell furniture. These categories continue to struggle in September, more so than in August for most:
- Furniture Stores, down -7.3% YOY, (August down -6.6%)
- Home Furnishings Stores, down -12.5% YOY, (August down -8.4%) and
- Building Material and Garden Equipment, down -6.76% YOY, (August down -7.2%).
Retailers in these categories will need to innovate going forward to maintain market share, and this decrease in sales may take some time to recover.
Holiday 2023 has had conflicting reports. Whereas the RCC and Leger have predicted an increase of 14% over last year, Deloitte is predicting an 11% decrease. While both studies have different respondents, JCWG is predicting trends to be more central, though further towards a negative spend. The economic outlook in Canada is not great, and consumers are struggling. However, maybe consumers will surprise us and splurge throughout the end of the year. As we approach the final month of the year, JCWG is thinking about:
- What are the most discounted categories for Black Friday and will they be the same for Boxing Day?
- Where are customers making their holiday purchases? Is it in-store as predicted?
- When will Boxing Day sales begin in 2023?
- How are YOU preparing for your 2024 retail strategy?
For support with next year’s strategy, reach out to the trusted experience at JCWG!
Canadian Retail Sales by Product Category, Same Month Comparison
|Sales for the Month of September||Sep-23||Sep-22||YOY|
|Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers||18,022,589||17,095,560||5.42%|
|All Stores Less Automotive||41,914,767||41,229,215||1.66%|
|Food and Beverage Stores||12,905,817||12,262,263||5.25%|
|Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores*||9,041,058||8,378,014||7.91%|
|Specialty Food Stores||898,724||883,561||1.72%|
|Beer, Wine and Liquor Stores||2,160,346||2,271,502||-4.89%|
|Health and Personal Care Stores||5,249,737||4,960,805||5.82%|
|All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies||23,759,213||24,006,147||-1.03%|
|General Merchandise Stores||8,494,510||8,245,477||3.02%|
|Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronic and Appliance Stores||3,761,389||3,747,819||0.36%|
|Home Furnishings Stores||684,312||782,329||-12.53%|
|Electronics and Appliance Stores||1,828,987||1,619,286||12.95%|
|Clothing and Accessories Stores||3,489,942||3,487,361||0.07%|
|Jewellery, Luggage and Leather Goods Stores||327,724||366,817||-10.66%|
|Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores||3,847,182||4,057,470||-5.18%|
|Building Material and Garden Equipment||4,166,189||4,468,021||-6.76%|
|Miscellaneous Store Retailers||2,447,319||2,667,136||-8.24%|
Canadian Ecommerce Sales
|Ecommerce Sales||Sep-23||Sep-22||Percent Change|
|Year to Date||31,606,378||30,003,414||5.34%|
|Year Over Year||3,712,187||3,555,420||4.41%|
Canadian Retail Sales by Store Category, Year to Date Comparison
|Year-to-Date, Ending September||Sep-23||Sep-22||YTD|
|Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers||160,266,588||150,150,273||6.74%|
|All Stores Less Automotive||365,998,154||356,392,508||2.70%|
|Food and Beverage Stores||113,543,771||108,562,252||4.59%|
|Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores*||79,816,258||74,960,361||6.48%|
|Specialty Food Stores||7,515,373||7,729,773||-2.77%|
|Beer, Wine and Liquor Stores||19,389,691||19,517,465||-0.65%|
|Health and Personal Care Stores||46,845,419||43,134,013||8.60%|
|All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies||205,608,964||204,696,243||0.45%|
|General Merchandise Stores||75,480,002||72,518,315||4.08%|
|Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronic and Appliance Stores||31,244,728||31,658,604||-1.31%|
|Home Furnishings Stores||6,042,110||6,565,932||-7.98%|
|Electronics and Appliance Stores||14,633,356||13,730,401||6.58%|
|Clothing and Accessories Stores||29,869,138||27,682,351||7.90%|
|Jewellery, Luggage and Leather Goods Stores||3,106,920||3,195,175||-2.76%|
|Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores||33,420,113||33,673,201||-0.75%|
|Building Material and Garden Equipment||35,594,982||39,163,773||-9.11%|
|Miscellaneous Store Retailers||21,632,874||22,069,036||-1.98%|
Retail Trade, Canada, All Stores, by Geographic Regions
|Region||Year-to-Date 2023||Year-to-Date 2022||2023/2022|
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