The month of December is supposed to be the best time of year for those in the retail community. Some call the Christmas season harvest time for retailers. But 2020 will go down as the year of the crop failure as retailers were treated to a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking.
We have just received the figures for December’s retail season. And they were down in every province – the first time that’s happened since April, the first full month of the pandemic.
Here in Saskatchewan, retailers did about as well as they could. Sales revenues declined four-tenths of a percentage point from November to December, according to StatsCan. Only Quebec did better at three-tenths while some places – notably Toronto where the lockdown was really evident – saw retractions of as much as ten full percentage points.
Even with that slight pullback in December, here in Saskatchewan retailers still did better than they did a year earlier, prior to the pandemic, as year-over-year volume rose about three-and-a-half points.