Online shopping set to hit record this year in Canada

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Purolator

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says online sales are set to hit a record this year, amid limits on in-person shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new data is in line with Statistics Canada’s estimates from the spring when retail e-commerce sales more than doubled from February to May.

The agency says online shopping fell this summer from its high of $4 billion in May, as more stores opened to in-person shopping.

Nonetheless, Statistics Canada says that 2020 could beat 2019’s online shopping sales of $305 billion, a figure that has more than doubled since 2013.

Meanwhile, several Canadian retailers, including Le Chateau, Mountain Equipment Co-operative, GNC Holdings, and Aldo, have filed for bankruptcy protection this year, and local municipalities across Canada are once again tightening restrictions or even banning in-person shopping.

The report says that up until last year, online sales represented about eight per cent of revenue for Canadian businesses with five or more employees.