Electronic shopping down from pandemic peak
The recent decline in e-retail sales is likely due to the waning of pandemic-related public health restrictions
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 22 July 2022 1 min read
Seasonally adjusted on-line retail sales by Canadian-based retailers peaked in January 2021 at $4.4 billion.
As of May 2022, national sales have fallen to $3.1 billion (-28%).
As a share of total retail sales, e-commerce revenue peaked in April 2020 at 11% and has since pulled back to about 5%.
The recent decline in e-retail sales is likely due to the waning of pandemic-related public health restrictions and the increased willingness of Canadians to return to in-person shopping.
While the Canadian data does not include online retail purchases from foreign-based stores, the fact that 95% of domestic retail sales still take place at physical “brick and mortar” locations makes the prediction that e-shopping will essentially kill off the in-person option appears premature.
With that said, the boost in the popularity of e-retail that took place during the pandemic combined with demographic and technological change could still push on-line shopping’s share of total retail sales up over time. What’s more, even a few percentage points of revenue lost to online competitors can have a big impact on retailers in specific sectors.
But, at least for now, all those delivery vans dropping off packages on our front steps are a long way from fully displacing trips to the mall.
Answer to the previous trivia question: Ernest Hemingway is the American author who wrote “The Old Man and the Sea.”
Today’s trivia question: In which state is the southern end of the Rocky Mountains located?