Retail sales see record decline as online sales soar

OTTAWA — Retail sales fell for the first time in five months, StatCan reports, plunging 10 percent to $47.1 billion in March. This drop is the largest on record and is comparable to the 7.1 percent decline observed in the United States in the wake of COVID-19. Retail e-commerce sales were $2.2 billion (not seasonally adjusted) in March, an atypical uptick for the month and more similar to the pattern normally observed at the start of the annual holiday shopping period. Sales at LBM and garden retailers amounted to $3.3 billion, unchanged from February and 1.5 percent higher than in March 2019.