CANADA GROCERY SALES CLIMB SLOWED IN 1994

MONTREAL -- Grocery sales in Canada increased 4.2% in 1994 to $53 billion -- well below the 7.6% increase experienced in 1993, according to the 1995 State of the Industry Report. An official for the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors here, which compiled the report, was unable to pinpoint why the sales increase within Canada was lower in 1994 than in 1993. The 4.2% sales increase in Canada compared

MONTREAL -- Grocery sales in Canada increased 4.2% in 1994 to $53 billion -- well below the 7.6% increase experienced in 1993, according to the 1995 State of the Industry Report. An official for the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors here, which compiled the report, was unable to pinpoint why the sales increase within Canada was lower in 1994 than in 1993. The 4.2% sales increase in Canada compared with a 6.2% increase in grocery sales in the United States during the comparable period, according to the report. However, Canadian retailers outdid their U.S. counterparts in same-store sales, enjoying increases of 5.1% in 1994 compared with increases of 4.3% in the United States for the same period, the report noted. The report, conducted annually in Canada for the past seven years, compared results in Canada with data compiled by the Food Marketing Institute, Washington. Some limited data from the report was cited earlier in SN.

ada, compared with 10.3% in the United States -- the first time Canadian performance surpassed U.S. performance, "a remarkable achievement given the differing scales of operation," the report noted.

Canadian stores achieved 18 inventory turns per year, compared with 16 in the United States.

Among stores adding new departments in 1994, Canadian retailers were most apt to add bakeries (33.7%), delis (28.8%) and prepared foods (23.3%), while U.S. operators were most likely to add delis (16.7%), expanded nonfood (12.2%) and food service (11.1%).

Almost 66% of Canadian retailers completed major remodelings in 1994, at an average cost of $925,632, compared with 40% of U.S. retailers, whose remodeling activity averaged $1.36 million per unit.