The retail and wholesale sector is the largest private sector employer in the province.
APEC Economic Impact report of COVID-19 on Atlantic Retail Sales Updated May 22, 2020
- Retail sales are down in the majority of stores but some, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and building/garden supplies are receiving a temporary boost.
- The overall value of Atlantic retail sales fell by 9% in March, the largest monthly decline on record. This was due to a drop in gasoline prices, store closures, and fewer purchases from stores that remain open.
- On a year-over-year basis, March sales volumes shrank by 10% in Atlantic Canada. This was led by decreases in clothing (51%), motor vehicles (39%), furniture (20%) and recreational stores (20%). Store types with higher year-over-year sales volumes include grocery stores (12%), building and garden supplies (10%) and health and personal stores (7%).
- Many stores in the Atlantic region closed, and nationally an estimated 40% of retailers closed their stores in March. Those that remain open have implemented social distancing measures but many are seeing less foot traffic than usual as consumers stay home.
- Online sales have increased, nationally up 40% in March, on a year-over-year basis. However, online sales only account for about 4% of total sales.
- National retail sales declined by 10% in March with Statistics Canada’s preliminary estimate indicating an additional 16% drop in April. Some stores should soon start to see a recovery in sales as provinces begin to reopen.
- Total retail sales in 2019 were $41 billion in Atlantic Canada.
- 150,000 Atlantic Canadians are employed in the retail industry. The sector accounts for 13% of total employment in the region, second only to healthcare and social assistance.
- Average weekly earnings in the industry were $600 in 2019, 37% below the all-industry average.
- There are more than 15,000 retail business locations in Atlantic Canada. Of these, 73% have less than 10 employees, and 96% have less than 50 employees.
According to the WorkPEI Employment Analysis as of May 2019, the number of people employed in retail and wholesale on PEI is 11,000. As of May 2020 there were 10,400 people employed. It’s the largest employer on PEI.
Retail and Wholesale on Prince Edward Island – Company hiring practices
- Atlantic Superstore, Belvedere Avenue, Charlottetown
- Beck's Home Furniture, Montague
- Bohemian Findings, St. Peters Bay
- Coastal Culture, Charlottetown, Borden Carleton, Cavendish
- Cool as a Moose, Charlottetown
- Green Diamond Equipment, Stratford, Summerside and Bloomfield
- Inspired Living, North River Causeway and Cavendish Boardwalk
- Island Stoneware, Summerside
- Main Street Pharmasave, Souris
- Maritime Marzipan Confectionery
- O'Leary Building Centre Ltd., O'Leary
- Pigeons Floors & Décor, Montague
- Shoreline Design PEI, Georgetown
- Spring Valley Building Centre Ltd., Kensington
- Tignish Co-operative, Tignish
- Tignish Home Hardware, Tignish
- Town 'n Country Carpet One, Summerside
Some types of retail stores on PEI
- Appliance, TV, & Electronics
- Auto Parts and Accessories
- Health Food Supplies
- Baked Goods
- Building Materials & Supplies
- Car, Boat, & Heavy Equipment
- Lawn and Garden Equipment
- Computers & Software
- Luggage and Leather Goods
- Meat, Fish & Seafood Markets
- Office Supplies
- Gas Stations
- Sports, Toys, Hobby, Games & Music
- Gift, Novelty & Souvenirs
- Nurseries & Garden Centres
Some staff titles
- General Manager
- Sales Associate
- Service Manager
- Department Manager
- Department Supervisor
- Licensed Technician
- Operational Manager
- Associate Buyer
- Sports Clerk
- Service Advisor
Top websites to find PEI retail jobs
For an overview of many Job Posting sites, advertising PEI jobs, click here.
For more information about retail careers, visit the Retail Council of Canada at www.retailcouncil.org.
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