Canadian Retail Foot Traffic Jumps in Sign of Pent-Up Demand

Canadians are eager for in-store shopping as virus restrictions ease, according to geolocation data compiled by SafeGraph Inc.

The San-Francisco based analytics firm released complete Canadian data for the first time this week, showing foot traffic at clothing stores is up 44% in June from the same month in 2019, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the numbers. In May, the two-year gain was 19%. SafeGraph uses aggregated and anonymized smartphone location data.

Canadian Retail Foot Traffic Jumps in Sign of Pent-Up Demand

The strong traffic bodes well for a rebound in retail sales after the sector was hit hard by a third wave of lockdowns earlier this year, revealing Canadians are keen to shop in person when allowed. According to latest data from Statistics Canada, retail receipts fell 5.7% in April and about 3.2% in May after many provinces introduced strict measures to curb virus cases.

Authorities lifted most of the restrictions by June.

Clothing stores have been the hardest hit among retailers from the pandemic, with receipts still below pre-pandemic levels. Statistics Canada is set to release May retail sales data next Friday.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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