Retail trade: 2008 Results and 2009 Outlook

    MONTREAL, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Conseil québécois du commerce de
détail (CQCD)/Retail Council of Quebec presents the results and conclusions of
its annual study on the status of the retail industry and consumer spending in
Quebec and Canada for the year 2008 and the outlook for 2009. This study was
conducted with the cooperation of Altus Géocom.

    Results for 2008

    Retail sales in both Quebec and Canada grew in 2008 for the thirteenth
consecutive year.
    In 2008, retail sales in Quebec increased by 4.7%, to $94.7 billion.
    In Canada, sales increased by 3.4%, to $426.2 billion.
    In Quebec, seven retail sub-sectors grew by more than the average of
4.7%: they are service stations (12.7%), computer and software stores (8.4%),
electronic products and appliances (7.9%), household accessories stores
(7.2%), food stores (5.9%), general merchandise stores (5.3%) and hardware
stores (5.0%).
    On the other hand, seven sub-sectors experienced below-average growth:
they are pharmacies (2.7%), furniture stores (1.9%), automobiles (1.4%),
clothing stores (1.3%) and sports, music and book stores (1.3%). Only the
footwear sector saw negative growth (-1%).
    The retail sector experienced respectable growth in sales, in both Quebec
and Canada, although the increase was greater in Quebec (4.7%) than in Canada
    Personal disposable income increased from $24,505 in 2007 to $25,560 in
2008 in Quebec. The personal disposable income of Canadians was $28,511 in
2008. The gap in disposable income between Quebec and Canada grew to -10.4%,
from -9.2% in 2007.

    Outlook for 2009

    According to the experts, the Canadian and Quebec economies are currently
in recession. However, this decline could be of lesser magnitude and of
limited duration in Quebec. The various programs that have been or will soon
be put in place by governments should stimulate our economy and allow us to
weather the crisis without too much damage.
    The positive factors influencing consumer behaviour and spending will
include stimulation resulting from low interest rates, a relatively low
inflation rate, the tax measures provided in our governments' budgets and a
slight increase in personal disposable income; however, these will be offset
in part by anemic job creation and a rising unemployment rate.
    Given the current uncertain climate, consumers might adjust the use of
their discretionary income, allocating more to savings to the detriment of
    The current economic situation remains uncertain and will affect consumer
spending. While retail sales are expected to be weaker than last year, the
CQCD anticipates negligible growth (1%) in 2009.
    The complete results of the study are available at:

    For more than 30 years, the CQCD has been the largest association
    representing the retail trade in Quebec. Its membership encompasses all
    retail specialties and distribution channels, including department
    stores, major food distributors, specialized boutiques, pharmacies,
    hardware and home-renovation stores, franchise concepts, independent
    branch stores and retailers, as well as major commercial partners in the
    goods and services trade sector. The CQCD represents an industry
    comprising more than 54,000 commercial establishments, more than 420,000
    jobs, or nearly one in five Quebec workers, and more than $94 billion in
    retail sales in 2008.

For further information:

For further information: Me Gaston Lafleur, President, Céline Ducharme,
Conseillère aux communications, Conseil québécois du commerce de détail/Retail
Council of Quebec, (514) 842-6681, extension 200; Source: Conseil québécois du
commerce de détail;

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Retail Council of Quebec

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