B.C. retailers leading Canada in first-quarter sales growth

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According to a new report by Colliers International Consulting, British Columbian retailers are off to a strong start in 2015, leading the country in year-over-year sales growth.

The province’s first-quarter sales growth for this year was nearly eight per cent. This increase follows a strong year in 2014 for B.C retailers, which rang in more than $66.4 billion in sales.

James Shandro, a commercial realtor who specializes in retail sales and leasing for Avison Young in Vancouver, says a high demand for luxury goods and services appears to be driving this growth. “There is quite an emphasis on higher-end or luxury brands, whether it’s fashion or even some much higher-end furniture players,” he notes.

Last year, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C. together accounted for 85 per cent of national retail sales; Ontario led the pack with total sales of $176.2 billion. This year, Ontario had a four per cent growth rate in the first quarter, coming in as a strong second after B.C. In Alberta, however, retailers have posted a year-over-year sales decrease of about three per cent. CJ

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