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March sees record drop in retail sales; April expected to be worse

Last Updated May 22, 2020 at 11:58 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

Retail sales plunged a record 10 per cent in March to $47.1 billion

The massive drop came as COVID-19 shutdowns spread across Canada

Preliminary estimates from Statistics Canada show sales in April fell 15.6 per cent

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Retail sales fell for the first time in five months, plunging a record 10 per cent to $47.1 billion in March from February as COVID-19 shutdowns spread.

However, an even larger drop is expected for the month of April.

Statistics Canada is providing a preliminary estimate that sales last month fell 15.6 per cent. The agency says Vancouver-area retail sales fell five per cent.

The March decline came as sales plunged at motor vehicle and parts dealers, clothing and clothing accessories stores and gasoline stations, while sales at grocery stores soared.

Excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers, retail sales were down 0.4 per cent for the month.

Richard Dettman will have more in Business at :26 and :56.