Press Release

Mastercard SpendingPulse: May Canadian retail sales up +5.6%* year-over-year

June 14, 2022 | Canada

Apparel sales experience double-digit growth as consumers shop looks for summer

As summer approaches, consumers are preparing for more in-person events and experiences, which contributed to the retail sales momentum seen this spring. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, total retail sales in May, excluding auto, increased +5.6% year-over-year (YOY) and +17.4% compared to pre-pandemic spending (2019).** Online sales fell into (-17.4%) when compared to  May 2021; however, online sales are up +101.4% when compared to May 2019. In-store sales are up as consumers return to in-person shopping experiences (+13.2% YOY/+6.7% pre-pandemic).

Key trends for May are defined by the resilience of the consumer as demand persists for both fresh styles and new experiences. Of note:

  • Stacked Social Calendars Drive Apparel Growth: More gatherings require more looks. With graduations, weddings and vacations lined up for the foreseeable future, the demand for Apparel continued with double-digit growth again this month (+65.9% YOY/+17.1% pre-pandemic). May showed the highest rate of year-over-year growth for Apparel so far in 2022.
  • The In-Store Experience: While e-commerce continues to sustain momentum from pre-pandemic levels, consumers were eager to try on their new looks in-person as the Apparel category saw consumers back in-stores surpassing pre-pandemic levels (+142.4% YOY/+9.3% pre-pandemic).
  • Don’t Forget the Accessories: Jewelry and Leather Goods continued to see strong demand (+46.2% YOY/+11.5% pre-pandemic) alongside the Apparel category as consumers shop for accessories to complement their new looks.
  • Patio Season is Calling: Restaurant sales remained elevated in May (+62.6% YOY/+21.8% pre-pandemic) with sustained double-digit growth reflecting consumers growing appetite for dining experiences heading into the summer.

“This spring, we increasingly saw consumers prioritize spending on their wardrobes for upcoming in-person events and travel,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “While Mastercard SpendingPulse shows growth across most sectors, retailers will need to find innovative ways to entice shoppers as discretionary spending potentially stretches thin as a result of increasing prices.”

*Excluding automotive sales.
**Not adjusted for inflation.

Media Contacts

Emilija Businskas, Mastercard

About Mastercard SpendingPulse

Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.

Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “Canadian retail sales” as sales at retailers of all sizes, excluding automobiles. Sales activity within the services sector (for example, travel services such as airlines and lodging) are not included.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.