January 23, 2014 / 1:58 PM / in 4 years

New products, cold boost Canada November retail sales

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Cold weather and the release of new electronic products helped boost Canadian retail sales by a greater-than-expected 0.6 percent in November, more than erasing a 0.1 percent dip in October, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Employees walk through the new Target store in Guelph, Ontario, March 4, 2013, on the eve of the store's opening. REUTERS/Geoff Robins

Analysts had expected a seasonally adjusted gain of only 0.2 percent overall and 0.3 percent excluding motor vehicle and parts dealers. The latter category gained 0.4 percent.

Sales in volume terms were even greater, 0.8 percent, signaling lower prices.

“Weather and the timing of new product releases had a greater effect on monthly sales than promotional events in November such as Black Friday,” the federal agency said.

Canadian retailers have only just begun imitating their U.S. counterparts in offering sales on Black Friday - the day after U.S. Thanksgiving Day - to discourage customers from crossing the border for better deals.

Early snowfalls boosted seasonal items in the “other motor vehicle dealers” category and in parts and tire stores. It also advanced the purchase of winter clothing.

Electronic and appliance stores gained 6.4 percent, after a 3.0 percent advance in October, on the strength of new product releases.

Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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