Retail's 2017 performance broken down


Chamber Member ATB Financial crunches the numbers on last year's retail sales. 

Last year, retail sales in our province finished 7.5 per cent higher compared to 2016. With retail sales ending 2017 on such a positive note, ATB looks at what types of retailers benefitted from Albertans’ spending.

Gasoline stations across the province saw the highest sales gains (+14.8 per cent)  over the course of last year. This is not surprising given the stabilization in energy prices throughout 2017 and the introduction of the province’s carbon tax.  As a result, gasoline prices increased and helped bump up sales at gas stations.

Lower interest rates over 2017 helped sales at both motor vehicle and parts dealers, and electronics and appliance stores to see significant sales growth as well. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers grew 14.8 per cent while electronics and appliance stores saw 11.7 per cent growth.

There was only one type of retailer who saw negative sales over 2016. Interestingly, sales at furniture and home furnishing stores fell 5.2 per cent. This is likely due to falling prices and not a lack of demand or interest from consumers. The price of furniture fell 2.5 per cent in 2017 from 2016.

Retail sales are expected to continue to improve. However, with rising interest rates and mounting household debt, sales growth this year will likely be lower than last year.

Posted on:
Saturday, February 24, 2018