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Another Strong Month for 2022

February continued January’s pace with an All Stores increase of 7.3%. All Stores Less Automotive grew slightly less at 5.1%, but All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies more at 10.4% year-over-year.

Clothing Stores was once again the strongest category this month, growing a huge 48.0%. With loosening limits on indoor gatherings, Canadians are resuming social events, something we expect to see accelerate as the weather gets warmer. Category retailers have done a good job adapting to the changing styles; the downtime as the hardest category hit by the pandemic was not squandered. In fact, looking at 2019 numbers as a comparison, Clothing Stores is up nine percent with fewer retailers. A true pandemic success story.

The desire for social interaction may have also been a driving factor in keeping Building Material and Garden Equipment buoyed at 10.8% year-over-year. Canadians could still be wary of large gatherings, instead preferring to host smaller events in their homes, maintaining the focus on home improvement. We expect this to accelerate as we progress further into the year as well.

On the flip side, Food and Beverage Stores were down slightly at -0.6%, with Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores down -2.1% year-over-year. This could be a result of people eating in restaurants more, but it may also be a shift back to local grocery stores as fears ease. We see this in Specialty Food Stores, which grew by a healthy 7.9%, indicating that Canadians are still buying food, just more than the staples they stocked up on during lockdowns.

Overall, February was a welcome increase for Canadian retail. Is COVID-19’s influence on retail finally over? Join us next month to find out!

Canadian Retail Sales by Product Category, Same Month Comparison

Sales for the Month of February202220212022/2021
All Stores47,964,60544,687,4357.33%
  Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers12,049,67211,418,2365.53%
  Gasoline Stations5,449,7274,278,52027.37%
All Stores Less Automotive30,465,20628,990,6795.09%
Food and Beverage Stores10,462,35310,529,337-0.64%
  Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores*7,483,2437,644,943-2.12%
  Convenience Stores585,932610,946-4.09%
  Specialty Food Stores659,073610,6957.92%
  Beer, Wine and Liquor Stores1,734,1051,662,7544.29%
Health and Personal Care Stores4,030,2113,986,9791.08%
All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies15,972,64214,474,36310.35%
General Merchandise Stores6,004,6785,651,0336.26%
Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronic and Appliance Stores2,511,2122,393,9324.90%
  Furniture Stores917,891854,4477.43%
  Home Furnishings Stores558,414530,2965.30%
  Electronics and Appliance Stores1,034,9071,009,1892.55%
Clothing and Accessories Stores2,105,4541,493,19541.00%
  Clothing Stores1,628,3121,100,17348.01%
  Shoe Stores187,724149,10525.90%
  Jewellery, Luggage and Leather Goods Stores289,419243,91618.66%
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores861,856808,8646.55%
Building Material and Garden Equipment2,974,5082,684,01710.82%
Miscellaneous Store Retailers1,514,9341,443,3214.96%

Canadian Retail Sales by Store Category, Year to Date Comparison

Year to Date Sales Ending February202220212022/2021
All Stores96,531,91188,111,5029.56%
  Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers24,087,03521,561,92311.71%
  Gasoline Stations10,588,8068,249,48728.36%
All Stores Less Automotive61,856,07058,300,0926.10%
Food and Beverage Stores21,586,27122,257,032-3.01%
  Supermarkets and Other Grocery Stores*15,713,70816,392,252-4.14%
  Convenience Stores1,206,3091,269,666-4.99%
  Specialty Food Stores1,317,2141,255,2444.94%
  Beer, Wine and Liquor Stores3,349,0393,339,8710.27%
Health and Personal Care Stores8,270,5938,188,0601.01%
All Stores Less Automotive, Food, and Pharmacies31,999,20627,855,00014.88%
General Merchandise Stores12,069,49810,844,89211.29%
Furniture, Home Furnishings, Electronic and Appliance Stores5,259,9754,670,77012.61%
  Furniture Stores2,006,1741,618,23123.97%
  Home Furnishings Stores1,135,912998,56013.76%
  Electronics and Appliance Stores2,117,8892,053,9793.11%
Clothing and Accessories Stores3,943,3512,712,16845.39%
  Clothing Stores3,066,9652,028,44351.20%
  Shoe Stores363,232273,41632.85%
  Jewellery, Luggage and Leather Goods Stores513,155410,30825.07%
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book and Music Stores1,756,8651,469,44319.56%
Building Material and Garden Equipment5,850,4275,411,0028.12%
Miscellaneous Store Retailers3,119,0922,746,72213.56%

Retail Trade, Canada, All Stores, by Geographic Regions

RegionYear-to-date 2022Same period 2021Change 2022/2021
British Columbia 13,901,63213,954,668-0.38%
  Vancouver 6,800,0976,401,6926.22%
Alberta 12,456,31712,343,9110.91%
Atlantic Canada6,375,3576,075,9774.93%

* Prairies = Saskatchewan and Manitoba

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