Late last month StatsCan released their numbers for December 2014, and they were not great. According to the report, “Retail sales fell 2.0% to $42.1 billion in December. This was the largest decline since April 2010.” This isn’t so startling when gas is removed from the equation – that brings the number to 1. 3%, but it is still a fair drop, especially since holiday shopping should have kept numbers at least what they were for the previous month.
Here is a graph displaying the growth and subsequent decline of sales – December’s drop is undeniably drastic.
Following gains in the fall, sales at food and beverage stores declined 0.5% in November. The decrease was largely attributed to lower sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores (-0.4%) and beer, wine and liquor stores (-1.0%). This was tempered by an increase in December: up 1% at food and beverage stores, 4% at beer, wine and liquor stores, and 3.1% at specialty food stores.
Retail sales in the clothing and accessories, electronics and appliances, and the sporting goods sectors also saw a drop, a hard fact to swallow considering holiday sales should have been up, at least in these sectors.
Ontario wasn’t alone either; retail sales were down in every province for the month of December, although Ontario did the see the largest drop (-2.3%) dollar wise.
We are hoping that these sales are not a sign of what is to come – but if they are, you need to be ready. Getting a leg up on the competition means a number of different things, whether you are a brand or a retailer – but keeping up brand loyalty and ensuring a positive customer experience are two important places to start. These two things go hand-in-hand with your merchandising strategy and your people support.
For more about boosting sales by increasing loyalty and the customer experience, Storesupport can help. We’ve got the tools you need to beat the competition and banish falling sales. Call us today at 1-877-421-5081.
You can review the full StatsCan report for December 2015 here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150220/dq150220a-eng.htm.