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December 22, 2003 Volume 6, Number 9
* Introduction - Editor's Comments
* What's New at
* Statistics Canada releases
* Researching the Retail Clothing Sector
* 2001 Census gets a Face-lift
* Small Business Stats Facts



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Welcome to this issue of the BR newsletter.

I wish everyone a wonder holiday season and a prosperous new year!

I hope you find this issue helpful.

John White
GDSourcing - Research & Retrieval



Site Summary:
Ranking of Canadian charities by money-management efficiencies. (% spent on charitable works, % not spent, management salary, fundraising efficiency).

Site Summary:
Highlight statistics on the accommodations sector in Canada

Site Summary:
Statistics on chicken farms and chicken production in Canada



The following statistics were released by Statistics Canada over the last two months. We have listed those releases we feel are of the most interest to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Very few of these statistics are available on-line. The URL listed is a direct link to the press release associated with the data. It provides contact and ordering information.

If you want to purchase any publication related to these releases please see our web site:

We offer a 20% discount on most Stats Can publications and a 10% discount on Stats Can electronic products. For more information you can reach us at Put "StatsCan" in the subject line of your e-mail.


Canadian potato production 2003 (preliminary) and 2002 (revised)

Census of Agriculture: Agriculture-population linkage database 2001

Farming operating revenues and expenses 2002 (preliminary estimates)

Net farm income 2002 (revised)

Production and value of honey and maple products 2003


Television viewing Fall 2002


Development of bioproducts using biotechnologies 2001


Fixed assets 2003

Home repairs and renovations 2002


Grandparents and grandchildren 2001

Marriages 2001


Study: Canada and Australia: A comparison of economic performance 1980 to 2000

Rural economic diversification 1986 to 1996

Study: Hollowing-out: An analysis of head offices in Canada 1999-2002


Secondary school graduations 2000/01

Survey of Approaches to Educational Planning 2002

Registered apprenticeship training programs 2001


Electric power generation, transmission and distribution

Electric power capability and load 2001

Electric power generating stations 2002

Human activity and the environment: Annual statistics 2003


Adolescent self-concept and health into adulthood 1994/95 to 2000/01

Participation and Activity Limitation Survey 2001

Witnessing violence: Aggression and anxiety in young children 1994/95 to 1998/99


Canada's retirement income programs 1990 to 2001

Study: Finances in the golden years 1999

Study: Wealth of immigrant families 1999


Canada's journey to an information society 1997 to 2002

Computer and Peripherals Price Indexes
January 1990 to September 2003 (preliminary)


Adult correctional services 2001/02

Adult criminal court statistics 2002/03



'Tis the season for new sweaters and socks. 66% of Canadians will be giving the gift of clothing this holiday season so in the spirit of the holidays we will look at researching the retail-clothing sector.

Statistics Canada is the best place to start when researching this sector. First and foremost is their recent study "A new look: retail clothing sales in Canada." It examines trends in the Canadian retail clothing industry from 1997 to 2002 covering product types (e.g. separates, outerwear and undergarments, sleepwear and hosiery) and store types (unisex, women's and men's clothing) (See

This brief study is based primarily on two Statistics Canada surveys: the Monthly Retail Trade Survey and the Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey. You can access detailed results from both of these surveys yourself through the CANSIM portion of the Statistics Canada web site. (See below for details.)

The Monthly Retail Trade Survey provides monthly retail sales for Canada, provinces and selected metropolitan areas for women's, men's and "other" clothing stores. It is a convenient way to track overall sales growth over a number of years.

The Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey provides quarterly retail sales by specific commodity groupings (e.g. Women's hosiery, Men's suits, sports jackets and blazers, Boys' clothing and accessories). This data not only lets you track annual trends in retail sales for specific commodities but also allows you to identify seasonal trends. For example almost 37% or $2.3 billion of the annual spending on men’s wear and accessories was concentrated in the last three months of 2002.

You can also compare this data with the results from the Monthly Survey of Large Retailers. This second survey tracks sales of the same commodity groupings as the Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey but focuses specifically on the sales recorded by major retail chains in Canada. By comparing annual or quarterly totals of the same commodity (e.g. Women's hosiery) you can determine the market share held by your largest competitors and observe trends over a number of years. For example the total retail sales estimate for Women's hosiery in 2000 was $461.7 million. Large retailers account for 68.4% of this total. By the end of 2002 although Women's hosiery sales had dropped by 15.5% to $390.4 million, the market share of large retailers grew to 74.2%. You can make this detailed comparison by using the CANSIM database (See below)

In addition to retail sales data, Statistics Canada also collects information on clothing price movements. Highlight data from the Consumer Price Index for "Clothing & Footwear” is available at the Statistics Canada web site: This price index tracks the change in prices consumers pay. It is often referred to as the inflation rate. You will see at the above web site that the overall inflation rate for Canada in 2002 was 2.2% but the prices paid for clothing actually dropped by -0.8%. As a retailer this informs you that there is downward pressure on clothing prices in Canada.

You will also want to look at the Industry Product Price Index. This index tracks the changes in prices as a product leaves the manufacturer. You can access highlights at the Statistics Canada web site: You will note here that although consumer prices on clothing have dropped slightly in 2002, manufacturer prices have edged up by 0.7%. This suggests that clothing retailers are feeling the squeeze from both sides. The price of their stock is slowing rising while consumers are demanding lower prices. Retailer margins are threatened.

More detailed price indices can be accessed via CANSIM. On the Consumer side you can view the price changes for women's, men's and other clothing. On the Industry side you can access product specific data. For example women's hosiery industry prices saw a 0.9% increase in 2002. This is after a 0.7% increase in 2001 and 2000. For CANSIM table numbers see below.

Another retail survey from Statistics Canada that could be of interest to a clothing retailer is the Retail Non-store Survey. This survey tracks annual sales of the same commodity groupings as above only this time for non-store retailers. Non-store retailers are those retailers who sell their products by means other than fixed point-of-sale locations (E.g. broadcasting of infomercials, direct-response advertising, traditional and electronic catalogues, door-to-door sales, temporary display of merchandise (using stalls, craft shows)). Unfortunately 2001 is still the most current data available. It was release in July of 2003. For the latest release see: For the most detailed data use the CANSIM database. (See below)

If you are interest specifically in Internet sales, there are a couple of Statistics Canada resources you can use. The first is the Household Internet Use Survey. This survey provides data on the % of electronic-commerce households who shopped for "Clothing, jewellery and accessories". You can access a detailed table at:
For the latest release information see:

The second survey, Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology, looks at E-commerce sales by store type. By using the CANSIM database you can access 4 datasets:

1. % of Clothing & Clothing Accessories Stores that use the Internet to sell goods
2. the value of Internet sales by these stores with or without online payment ($ millions),
3. % Internet sales represent of total operating revenue
4. % of Internet sales to outside of Canada.

The charge via the CANSIM database for this information for all 4 variables would be $12.00 ($3.00 x $4.00).

In order to retrieve all relevant CANSIM tables listed above go to the CANSIM database ( ) click on "Find it by Table Number" then cut and paste the following string of table numbers (including all commas): 080-0001, 080-0002, 080-0009, 080-0010, 080-0013, 358-0010, 326-0001, 329-0041 CANSIM is an economical way to access detailed data. The cost is $3.00 per time series.

In addition to CANSIM data, Statistics Canada also has a CD-ROM entitled Annual Retail Store Data. This product includes results from the 1999 and 2000 Annual Retail Store and Annual Retail Chain surveys. It covers revenues, expenses, inventory, sales per square footage (chain stores only) and the number of stores. Data is available by province, North American Industry Classification and Store type (chains, independents, franchises). The entire CD, which covers clothing stores as well as all other retail sectors, costs $100.00. (To order this CD-ROM please e-mail us at We can also retrieve selected industries for $60.00). This data will be updated to 2001 and 2002 data in the spring of 2004.

If you are interested in retail sales by square footage but cannot afford to purchase the Annual Retail Store CD-ROM you can consult table 8-10 in the 2001 edition of the Market Research Handbook (Statistics Canada catalogue no: 63-224). It covers 1998 average and median sales by square-foot and square meter for Women's, Men's and Other clothing stores.

Unfortunately 2001 was the last edition of the Market Research Handbook to include this data. You will not find it in the 2002 or 2003 issues. Most libraries maintain older versions of this publication. Just in case you have difficulty finding the older version here is the 1998 median sales per square foot data: Women's Clothing Stores: $290, Men's Clothing Stores: $284, Other Clothing Stores: $258, Shoe Stores: $303.

While all of the above Statistics Canada data is helpful the geographical detail is limited. One option for metropolitan and regional municipality estimates is to consult the annual publication FP Markets - Canadian Demographics by the Financial Post. This publication can be located in most major libraries and business resource centres. Look at the retail sales tables located at the front of the book for estimates on retail sales of women's clothing, men's clothing and other clothing. For example in 2003 Women's clothing sales in Brandon, Manitoba were $14.9 million. You could use this figure to estimate market share or look at previous years' issues to estimate sales growth in the city.

GDSourcing's Canadian Market Estimates also help you assess local market potential by telling you average annual household expenditure on selected types of clothing as well as the effect of income and household type on purchasing patterns. For more information see:

Another shortcoming of Statistics Canada data is that while you can determine market share for large retailers overall, the data does not identify the market share of individual companies. Detailed market share analysis is always difficult to locate.

One of the leading research firms for the Canadian market is Trendex North American. In addition to syndicated research the company also conducts in Canada both apparel brand awareness tracking studies and Supplier Evaluation by Retailer (SER) studies. (See: There is a charge to access their data. If your research budget is $0 do not fret, Trendex does provide some free data on Zeller's market share of specific clothing categories: (Zellers holds an 11.4% market share of the Canadian women's hosiery market.)

To find other "freebies" from Trendex use a periodical database. Trendex is often quoted in the newspaper in relation to retail clothing market shares and growth. Conduct a search on the company name "Trendex" to locate information on clothing stores and items. For example in a recent article Trendex was quoted as estimating that Sears Canada held a 21% share of all lingerie sales in Canada and a 25% share of all bras and foundations. (Bras with attitude, Marketing Magazine v.108(4) F 3'03 ) You can access a periodical database in most libraries. Many even allow you to access their database via their web site as long as you have a valid library card.

NPD Group is another research firm that is often quoted in the media. (  No free Canadian data is available on their web site. However if you search their company name in a periodical database you can find some highlights. Recent data quoted from this source includes market share of women's apparel held by The Bay and Winners (Prada on sale - at the Bay?, Strategy Magazine Mar 24, 2003 p5) as well as the % increase in the purchase of men's suits, total value, sales of men's khakis pants, and growth rate for suits in the 25 to 34 age group (The numbers are in - and khakis are out, National Post Oct 19, 2002 FP1, FP7)

In addition to the above company names, also use periodical databases to search on your product category or store type. You can often locate articles that discuss trends and marketing within a specific retail-clothing segment.

The most detailed data on clothing is available from the Canadian Apparel Federation. Their Canadian Apparel Market Reports provide data on consumer purchases in units and dollars, by retail channel (department, discount and specialty stores), age of wearer, import share, private label share of sales and sales by price point. For a sample of these detailed profiles see men's bathing suits: The charge for these reports is $300.00 for non-members. Normally I would not mention such an expensive data source in this newsletter but the detail and availability of this information deserves mentioning. For more information or to place an order see: (Scroll down the page about half way)

When starting an independent retail-clothing store it is important to understand the typical performance of small businesses in this sector. Our Canadian Industry Profiles provide key financial benchmarks for the following store types: Men's Clothing Stores, Women's Clothing Stores, Children's and Infants' Clothing Stores, Family Clothing Stores, Clothing Accessories Stores, Fur Stores, All Other Clothing Stores, Shoe Stores. Financial data now covers 1999 to 2001. These profiles allow you to assess typical performance of small retailers and determine sector trends by examining business counts by employee-size. (For more information see:

Retail clothing is a very competitive business environment. More than 100 clothing stores went bankrupt in 2002 alone. It is vital you identify your competition and their strengths. Many new entrepreneurs focus on the weaknesses of their competitors. To be successful it is your competitors' strengths you must overcome not their weaknesses!

Use the Yellow Pages or Super Pages to identify the number of local competitors. At their web sites ( and enter the heading "clothing" or browse the heading "clothing" to access more detailed sub sectors. You can also look at previous issues of these directories at your local library. This way you can track which companies are new entries and which have disappeared from your market, changed locations or expanded with additional locations. Also take a critical look at where these stores are located. What is the surrounding population like? Number of households? Income? etc. (Much of this information can be access via Census data - contact us for more information

If any of your local competitors are part of a larger retail chain you can use the Directory of Retail Chains to find data on the performance and size of specific retail clothing chains in Canada. For some entries sales by square foot are also included. This publication is available in many major reference libraries across Canada.

A related publication is the Monday Report on Retailers. This periodical provides insight into the expansion plans of major retail chains in Canada. Use it to find out if your major chain competitors are considering expanding into your market. You can also use it to see what type of store locations they are looking for (Store front, strip plaza, mall) and the demographic conditions they feel are favourable for a successful location. Benefit from someone else's experience!

Also do not forget to view the annual report of any of your publicly traded competitors. They often include information on same-store sales growth, sales per square-foot etc. as well as management discussion of current trends. For example the latest annual report for Le Chateau indicates that sale per square foot have risen from $292 in 2000 to $391 in 2002, comparable store sales were up 18.4% over the same period a year ago. It also includes commentary such as

"Fashion is a highly competitive global business that is subject to rapidly changing consumer demands. In addition, there are several external factors that affect the economic climate and consumer confidence over which the Company has no influence.

This environment intensifies the importance of in-store differentiation, quality of service and continually exceeding customer expectations, thereby delivering a total customer experience.

With this view, Le Château believes that its distinctive edge on fashion, its innovative store design and merchandising, its strong financial position and its winning team of vibrant employees dedicated to providing the best whole store experience will facilitate continued success."

Finally it is always a good idea to observe your competitors directly. Observation can be a powerful tool in assessing your local competition. Buy a coffee and spend the day watching the comings and goings of your competitors. How many people leave the store carrying a bag? What type of clientele goes into the store? What type of merchandise attracts the greatest attention?

Retail clothing is a challenging business venture. Make certain you use the multitude of research sources available to you to ensure your investment is not "taken to the cleaners"!



The main 2001 Census interface page at the Statistics Canada web site has undergone a major and beneficial face-lift. I am happy to say it is now much easier to find the demographic data you are looking. (See:

Front and centre are links to search by topic and by geography. At the top of each results page is a link to identify only "free" information. You can quickly browse data that is priced perfectly for your non-existent research budget!

There are also a number of visible direct links to the most popular portions of the Census site (e.g. GeoSearch - local neighbourhood household and population counts) as well as plain English links: "Show me data on the community I live in", "How do I obtain a custom census data tabulation?”

One draw back of the new interface is that there is no visible place to conduct a keyword search. While browsing is often an effective way to find information, unless you know understand how Statistics Canada categorizes Census data you may give up before you find the data you need. For example many people would not think to look for data on self-employment under the topic heading "Canada's Workforce: Paid" or for data on "Hours Spent Looking After Children" under the topic heading "Canada's Workforce: Unpaid"

The search engine is buried under the old interface if you follow the "Data" link on the left column and then the "Topic Based tabulations link". The direct page address:

Happily you can still use the search methods described in a previous newsletter article: "How to Win at the Census Shell Game", BR Newsletter, November 4, 2002 Volume 5, Number 9

The new interface should help more people be successful on their Census search however there is always room for improvement. Although it may be a challenge to find the data you need, if you are looking for demographic numbers do not give up on the Census too quickly. Also feel free to contact us if you need further assistance accessing this data.



Each Business Researcher Newsletter ends with a collection of five
statistics related to Canadian small businesses.

1. What is the average number of hours worked a week by self-employed men? Self-employed women?

Men: 44.8 hours, Women: 33.4 hours

Source: Statistics Canada (2003)

2 What % of self-employed men work more than 50 hours a week? Self-employed women?

Men: 40%, Women: 19.2%

Source: Statistics Canada (2003)

3. In 2003 what factors negatively impacted Canadian small business revenues the most?

55% of entrepreneurs reported the rising cost of insurance premiums

33% of entrepreneurs reported domestic events, such as SARS, Mad Cow Disease and the recent blackout.

28% of entrepreneurs reported international events, including the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq

15% of entrepreneurs reported strength of the Canadian dollar

Source CIBC (Oct 2003)

4. What are the top three occupations for self-employment?

1. Chiropractor (86.8% are self-employed)
2. Optometrist (81.1% are self-employed)
3. Farmer and farm manager (79.6% are self-employed)

Source: 2001 Census (Statistics Canada)

5. Which size of firm contributed the most to the net increase in employment between Q2 2001 to Q2 2002 and Q2 2002 to Q2 2003?

Q2 2001 to Q2 2002: Businesses with 50-99 employees contributed the most: 37.5% (83,063 employees) of the total net change in employment followed closely by businesses with 20-49 employees (36.4%)

Q2 2002 to Q2 2003: Businesses with more than 500 employees contributed the most: 57.9% (169,596 employees) of the total net change in employment. (Businesses with 50-99 employees contributed only 9.5% (27,826) while businesses with 20-49 employees contributed 9.9%)

The % share for micro businesses (less than 5 employees) were:

Q2 2001 to Q2 2002: -0.7%
Q2 2002 to Q2 2003: +3.6%

Source: Statistics Canada (Sept 2003)


G D S O U R C I N G - R E S E A R C H & R E T R I E V A L
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UPDATED: 02/02/04
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