How clothing is so different in Quebec
Apr 12, 2019


In 2017, Quebec retailers sold $6.6 billion in clothing, jewellery, luggage and leather goods and shoes. These three segments have taken different paths in Quebec and the ROC. A category representing 5.3% of retail sales in Quebec and 5.7% in the ROC.


Anemic recovery in Quebec

Since the recovery in 2015, annual increases have been anemic but retailers remain positive. Jewellery stores are having a hard time, while the shoe category is doing the happy dance, but clothing stores have stayed the same.

With a 79% share of sales, clothing is the driving force behind retail sales results in the category. Even with a less than 1% increase in 2017 vs. 2016, sales at clothing stores show a positive 0.2% growth in the category despite a drop of nearly 15% at jewellery stores. Only shoe sales have seen any movement with an increase of 5%.


The ROC: positive increases in all three segments

It’s a more positive story for the rest of Canada, which is enjoying a 5% increase for the category and increases in all three segments.

Where Quebec’s sales have fallen by nearly 13%, the ROC has increased by 15% for sales in jewellery stores and luggage and leather goods stores. Can we attribute this difference to a greater craze for accessories such as jewelry and handbags in the ROC?

Apparel, the largest segment with 76% of sales, posted respectable growth of 4%, while Quebec saw only 0.7%.

Only shoe store sales have shown the same trend in both the ROC and Quebec with a 5% increase.


Unsurprisingly, 71% of women are responsible for this type of purchase in French-speaking Quebec, and purchasing power rests mainly in the hands of generations X and the baby boomers.


eCommerce champion

The clothing / jewellery / shoes and accessories category is a champion in terms of the number of Quebecers who made purchases of this type in the last month (Cefrio) – 32% of online shoppers bought at least one item in this category while the second place went to the electronics category with 21%.

On average, they spend $98 per transaction.


Sources: Statistics Canada, Table 20-10-0008-01 (formerly CANSIM 080-0020), 2017, Province of Quebec, clothing and accessories stores; Vividata, Spring 2018, Quebec fr