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The first quarter of 2018 saw impressive growth for Canadian border stores

Canada’s duty-free sales on steep upward curve in March

Duty-free sales in Canada/US border stores and in Canadian airports have seen significant across-the-board growth during March 2018, according to new figures released by the Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA).

Overall sales in border shops on the Canadian side of the US-Canada border for March amounted to CA$9.8m (US$7.68m), an increase of 13.6% against the same month last year. Figures for the first quarter (Q1 January-March 2018) saw a rise of nearly 3.2%, with a total sales turnover of CA$24.7m.

Canada’s airport duty-free stores have reported even better results, with sales rising during March by 17.4% to deliver turnover of CA$41.6m. There was also a solid performance across Q1 in the airport duty-free stores, with overall sales increasing by 8.6% on 2017 to deliver total sales of CA$113.1m.

Border store breakdown

For the purposes of reporting on the border stores on the Canadian side of the US-Canada border, the border is divided into four sections: Atlantic/Quebec; Ontario; Pacific; and Prairie.

Of the four regions, Pacific was the best performing in terms of growth with sales up nearly 25% delivering turnover of $1.8m. Overall sales ($4.4m) for Pacific were up 11% in Q1.

Ontario also reported excellent figures for March, with sales ($5.8m) increasing by over 13% on 2017. Q1 sales in Ontario, meanwhile, rose by 2.5% ($14.5m).

In the Prairie region total sales of $663,000 in March were up by 8% against last year. Q1 sales ($1.7m) rose by 5% in comparison to 2017.

Growth in land border duty-free stores was more modest in the Atlantic/Quebec region, with a 6% rise in March compared to last year with total sales of $1.5m. In the only headline negative figure reported by the FDFA, sales ($4m) were down by 2% for Q1 against the equivalent period last year.

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