Statistics Canada says retail sales fell 0.1 per cent in September to $51.6 billion, weighed down by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations.
The result matched the expectations of economists, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
The overall decline came as sales in the motor vehicle and parts dealers subsector fell one per cent due to a 1.9 per cent drop at new car dealers. Sales at gasoline stations fell 2.3 per cent, due in part to lower prices.
Statistics Canada says excluding these two subsectors, retail sales rose 0.7 per cent.
Sales at food and beverage stores rose 1.2 per cent, boosted by a 1.1 per cent increase at supermarkets and other grocery stores and a 3.2 per cent increase at beer, wine and liquor stores. Building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers saw sales rise 3.3 per cent.
Overall retail sales in volume terms fell 0.1 per cent.