Canadian airport duty free sales soar 16%, land border sales rise 4% in 2015

Canada’s airport duty free sales soared 16% year-on-year in 2015 while land border sales rose almost 4%, according to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Overall, the combined airport and land border sales for Canada in 2015 were $524 million; airport sales reached $375 million out-pacing duty free shopping on the land border ($149 million).

In December, land border sales were $12 million, up 7.3% over December 2014. Airport sales reached $33 million, an increase of 8.5%.

FDFA logoThe FDFA is optimistic that sales will continue to increase in 2016: “With the current exchange rate and key tourism initiatives taking place, we are well positioned for the upcoming high season in 2016 to exceed sales expectations and traffic numbers.

“The FDFA is currently pursuing with all government officials – both federally and in our communities across the country – the Road TRIP initiative to allow Americans a 5% rebate on all goods purchased – thus only rebatable at land border duty free shops. We know that over 60% of the time, customers that get a cash rebate will spend that money in our stores and on our suppliers’ products. We will keep the membership informed of our lobbying progress to have this initiative approved in the Federal Budget.”


Top categories

Perfume, Cosmetics, Skincare, the number one selling duty free category at Canadian airports with 35% of sales in 2015, grew 21% for the year. Alcohol, with 20% of sales, increased 15%. Almost every category sold in Canada’s airports grew by double digits in 2015, except for tobacco, the third most popular category, which was flat for the year.

Top categories: Land border

On the land border, number one category alcohol, which accounts for more than 40% of sales, rose 12% in 2015. However, number two category tobacco dropped 8.45% and number three Perfume, Cosmetics, Skincare was down 2.74% for the year.


Land border regional sales
Atlantic/Quebec sales climbed 6% year-on-year to $31 million. December sales increased 5.7%.

Ontario sales were $84 million in 2015, an increase of 6.5% compared to 2014. December sales grew 11%.

Pacific Region sales slipped 2.3% to $23.2 million. December sales climbed 2.37%.

Sales in the Prairie Region were $9.4 million for the year, a drop of 11%. December sales fell by 13%.