Statistics Canada says retail sale fell 0.1 per cent in August to $51.5 billion as sales at food and beverage stores dropped.
Economists on average had expected an increase of 0.4 per cent for August, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
Statistics Canada says sales at food and beverage stores fell 0.8 per cent in August, the first move down from the sector in three months. Sales at supermarkets and other grocery stores fell 0.8 per cent, while beer, wine and liquor stores dropped 1.9 per cent and convenience stores edged down 0.1 per cent. Sales at specialty food stores increased 2.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, sales at gasoline stations fell 0.4 per cent as a result of lower prices at the pump, while gasoline sales rose 2.8 per cent in volume terms.
Sales at general merchandise stores gained 0.8 per cent and motor vehicle and parts dealers rose 0.1 per cent.
In volume terms, retail sales increased 0.2 per cent in August.