A second year of high consumer prices has affected everything from grocery prices to presents under the Christmas tree.
David Williams, associate professor of marketing at the University of Saskatchewan, said retailers might use the current financial environment to be more aggressive with their discounts.
“They will be more aggressive with their sales pitches. A lot of them started earlier, before Thanksgiving. A lot of them may have deeper discounts toward Christmas,” Williams said.
An Angus Reid survey said that for more than seven quarters in a row, more than two in five Canadians are feeling left behind as the cost of living rises.
“Currently, 46 per cent feel they aren’t keeping up financially, nearly quadruple the number who say they are getting ahead — 12 per cent,” read the report.
According to the polls, 78 per cent of people said they are spending less on holiday preparations this year.
“Once you are in the store, you are going to open your wallet and spend more,” Williams said.
He said that with so many deals being pushed and such sale saturation, consumers will eventually begin to tune out the savings.
“A lot of people will search online for flyers and deals but a lot of people will send end up going to the store. Some people will say I’m going to be a really good and intentional with my Christmas shopping and then at the last minute they go and open their wallets, and it’s a frenzy.”
He said this is when impulse-buying begins and shoppers begin losing control.
“A lot of people use it as a reason to celebrate and have a good time, and as escapism.”
Williams said most of the year’s shopping is done between Black Friday and Christmas, not just for seasonal gear but for all retailers.
“The peak will be the two weekends before Christmas and maybe just after on Boxing Day.”