Things Are Looking Up for Canadian Merchants

November 26, 2013 Moneris

Calgary is in higher spirits after the community rallies to save its premier event, proving that even a natural disaster can’t stop the Stampede. Across Canada, retailers can look forward to a promising Q3.

Alberta businesses recovering from June’s massive floods

After Alberta suffered intense flooding in June – the worst floods in the province’s history – the economy took a major hit1. As the massive cleanup effort began, things were looking bleak for local businesses2. It didn’t help that the Calgary Stampede, scheduled to open in less than two weeks, was also in trouble: the famous Grandstand3 and Saddledome were filled with water4, and the Stampede grounds were a mess of mud and debris5.


A lot rides on the success of the Stampede – it injects up to $400 million into the provincial economy annually6. The event had never been cancelled in its 100-year history, and this year’s organizers weren’t about to break that record7. They vowed the show would go on, and despite huge challenges, they succeeded.

Calgarians have shown enormous perseverance in the face of disaster – and this year’s Calgary Stampede is a true testament of their resilience and spirit"

Jeff Guthrie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Moneris Solutions

Local businesses, already hurt by floods and facing the prospect of losing more income, had cause to celebrate: consumer spending jumped 45.38 per cent during the Stampede, compared to the week of floods, with increases for eating establishments, entertainment and hotels. Remarkably, despite year-over-year drops for many categories, overall spending during the Stampede was only 5.76 per cent lower compared to 2012. In fact, drinking establishments and fast food saw year-over-year increases**.

“Despite major hurdles, Calgarians rallied to support the iconic annual event, and, while this year’s Stampede may have seen slightly lower spending compared to 2012, the decrease is not as great as many expected,” says Guthrie.

Spending up in Q2

More good news: Across the country, consumer spending was up 3.61 per cent in the second quarter, compared to Q2 2012. Also notable in Q2, year-over-year debit card spending outpaced credit card spending, suggesting that Canadians may be cautious about adding to household debt.

Infographic Image 1

Restaurants, retail and entertainment had the most growth.

Infographic Image 2

Within retail, the biggest gainers were bookstores, bicycle shops and pet shops, while camera stores, stationery shops and florists saw declines.

Infographic Image 3

“Despite a slight dip in June, Canada’s consumer spending continued to experience steady growth in the second quarter,” says Guthrie. “Given the consistent pattern of spending increases over the first two quarters of 2013, we anticipate this positive trend will continue into Q3 and the holiday season.”

So, Canadian retailers have reason to be optimistic for the remainder of 2013. That includes businesses in Alberta, despite the devastating floods. It was Canada’s second-highest-spending province in the second quarter, thanks to strong growth in April and May (6.32 per cent and 7.46 per cent, respectively, and 6.10 overall for Q2)**. 

Don’t miss the updates in our Moneris Q3 Spending Report – the next Moneris Spending Report will be available soon.

1 - “Province says flooding is worst in Alberta history; 25 states of local emergency in place” by Edmonton Journal, 2013. Article available at

2 - ”Flooding to cut Alberta economic activity by $500 million to $1.5 billion in short-term” by Calgary Herald, 2013.Article available at

3 - “Producer promises a grand Grandstand Show for post-flood Calgary Stampede” by Calgary Sun, 2013. Article available at

4 - “Inside the Saddledome: Photos reveal scale of the damage in Calgary Flames’ flood-ravaged home” by National Post, 2013. Article available at

5 - “Calgary Stampede to go on ‘come hell or high water,’ president vows” by The Globe and Mail, 2013. Article available at

6 - “Economic and fiscal impacts of flooding in Alberta” by TD Canada Trust, 2013. Article available at

7 - “Calgary Stampede to go on ‘come hell or high water’” by CBC News, 2013. Article available at

** - All other figures not cited in the article are based on Moneris’ Q2 Spending Report, 2013.

® MONERIS, MONERIS & Design, and MONERIS SOLUTIONS & Design are registered trade-marks of Moneris Solutions Corporation. All other marks or registered trade-marks are the marks or registered trade-marks of their respective owners. The information in this newsletter is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to be legal, financial or other professional advice. Information and opinions in articles by third parties are the personal opinions of the authors, and are not endorsements by or opinions of Moneris Solutions Corporation. Links to websites are provided for convenience only and linking is at your sole risk. Moneris Solutions Corporation does not review or endorse, and is not responsible for, any third-party website, the content of those sites, or their products or services.

About the Author


Moneris processes more than 3 billion credit and debit card transactions a year, for over 350,000 merchant locations across North America. We have over 1,300 dedicated employees who understand transaction processing and know how to make it work for you.

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