Overall retail sales remain robust
Retail sales in Alberta have been above their pre-pandemic level for eight months in a row
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 28 June 2021 1 min read
After slipping in March, seasonally adjusted retail sales in Alberta edged up by 0.2% in April.
Albeit small, the increase ran counter to rising cases of COVID-19 and the reintroduction of tighter public health measures on April 6 that reduced the customer capacity of retail stores to 15% of fire code occupancy from the 25% level allowed as of March 8.
Sales this April were 53% higher compared to the previous April when "non-essential" retail stores were closed during the first wave of the pandemic.
While not every retailer is in the same boat, the sector as a whole has weathered the pandemic remarkably well with monthly sales coming in above their pre-pandemic level for eight months in a row.
Sales at building material and garden equipment supply stores were 44% above where they were in April 2019 before the disruptive impact of the pandemic. At the other end of the spectrum were sales at clothing stores, which were down by 18%, and shoes stores, which were down by 24%.
Retail sales in the country as a whole contracted by 6% in April with sales down in 7 provinces. Sales in every province were above their pre-pandemic level except for Ontario.
Answer to the previous trivia question: At about 36,000 full-time students, the University of Alberta has more students than the University of Calgary, which has about 30,000 full-time attendees.
Today’s trivia question: What is the highest point in Alberta?