Online Retail Sales in Canada up Over 24% through First Half of 2012

MasterCard Canada made its first public release of insights from SpendingPulse, a product of MasterCard Advisors, which highlights total retail sales - across all payment forms including cash and cheque - as well as sales in four key retail categories: e-Commerce, Grocery, Department Stores and Gasoline.

"SpendingPulse reports are unique value-adds to decision-makers who want an immediate pulse-check on the Canadian market. The real time and accurate insights offer unparalleled understanding of consumer spending, allowing businesses to be more precise with their investments and customer focus, "said Betty DeVita, Regional President of MasterCard Canada.

According to the June 2012 report, overall Canadian retail sales for the first six months of 2012 came in at a modest growth of 2.2%. The report also indicates an impressive growth in e-Commerce, up 24.9% compared to the first six months of 2011. e-Commerce sales grew for the ninth consecutive month above the 20% threshold.

"While overall retail sales growth in Canada has been modest through the first half of the year, the e-Commerce growth rates are truly impressive. The growth in online sales is a good indicator of how Canadian retailers are capitalizing on the shift of sales from brick and mortar locations to online sales channels," says Michael McNamara, Vice President of Research and Analysis for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse.

Other highlights include:

Department store sales have shown an increase of 6.1% compared to the first six months of 2011.

While essentially flat compared to 2011, Grocery sales have shown the first positive year-over-year comparison in 2012 for the month of June at 0.3%.

Gasoline sales increased in the first half of 2012 primarily due to price increases. As oil and gasoline prices began to subside, the dollar sales growth for this sector also decelerated.

SpendingPulse launched in the United States in March 2006 and is one of the most frequently cited measures of the U.S. retail economy. In Canada, SpendingPulse began offering reports starting in January 2012 to subscribers, providing granular, industry-specific sales figures across all payment modes with accuracy and timeliness.

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