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Wholesale sales of apparel records major drop in Feb

Apr '06
Statistics Canada announces that after strong consumer spending in the previous month, retail sales slid back by 0.4 percent in February to $31.6 billion.

February's retail sales decline was the first after four consecutive months of sales increases. Retail sales have maintained strong upward momentum since late 2003.

Miscellaneous retailers (-1.7 percent), home furnishings and general merchandise stores (-0.2 percent) saw their sales decline after registering increases of 4.5 percent, 4.9 percent and 3.3 percent respectively in January.

On the other hand, the building and outdoor home supplies stores sector impressively maintained its strength in February, increasing its sales by 1.0 percent after rising by a substantial 3.2 percent in January.

Continued growth was seen among pharmacies and personal care stores (+1.9 percent) as well as clothing and accessories stores (+0.6 percent).Sales pause in February after January's boost in some sectors.

In general, stores that are thought to have benefited from gift card redemptions and cultural and ethnic celebrations in January saw sales fall in February.

However, February's sales decline in these stores were not strong enough to offset the more substantial gains made in January, pointing to a strong underlying momentum.

Ontario (-2.0 percent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-4.5 percent) showed the most significant decline in retail sales in February.

Aside from slight decreases in sales in Nova Scotia (-0.5 percent) and New Brunswick (-0.1 percent), all other provinces and territories registered positive sales growth.

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