1 million Canadians expected to call in sick to go Black Friday shopping: Report

VANCOUVER – The famous U.S. Black Friday shopping blitz is not far off and it turns out quite a few Canadians call in sick to scoop up the deals.

A new survey from IPG Media says employers can expect around 1 million calls from staff claiming to be ‘under the weather’ to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

“Clearly, Canadians are planning ahead and making time for what is fast becoming the most popular shopping weekend of the year,” says Chris Herlihey, vice president research at IPG Mediabrands. “Black Friday and Cyber Monday are making Boxing Day less relevant. And, it may feel more like ‘Slack Friday’ to many employers year after year.”

The survey also finds that 2.3 million Canadians plan to shop during work hours on Cyber Monday with laptops remaining the most popular tool.

It appears Boxing Day is becoming less relevant with 75 per cent of Canadians preferring Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The most popular items are clothing, accessories and shoes, with more home electronics likely to be bought on Cyber Monday versus Black Friday.

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Canadians crossing the border to shop in the U.S. will spend more than $1.6 billion in stores on Black Friday.


“These statistics highlight both the Canadian consumers’ demand for convenience through online shopping and the enjoyment many people get through browsing in a vibrant, active setting, such as a mall or local strip,” says Joseph McConellogue in a release, Managing Director at Reprise. “What’s extremely worrisome for Canadian retailers, however, is the level of cross-border shopping that will occur – whether it happens in store or online. Canadian retailers must also improve their online shopping platforms or more and more money will be sucked out of the Canadian economy.”

The online survey conducted by IPG Mediabrands was conducted with more than 1,000 nationally representative Canadians from coast to coast from Oct. 17-22.

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