8 facts about Black Friday in Canada

Will you be shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Vote in our poll. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just around the corner. So what does that mean for Canadians? New research reveals some interesting insights into our shopping plans and spending habits.

Here are some highlights:

1. 1.2 million Canadians plan to be ‘sick’ on Black Friday or Cyber Monday

Employers take note: a good chunk of the roughly 1,000 Canadians, who were surveyed recently by IPG Mediabrands admitted they plan to take a “sick” day to shop.

Even more (6.4 million) intend to take a vacation day.

“On the one hand, this is great news for retailers looking to boost their sales figures; but on the other it’s pretty clear ‘Slack Friday’ is hurting productivity,” said IPG Mediabrands’ Loraine Cordery.

2. More than half of Canadians are expected to take advantage of Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday deals this year

“We’re expecting about 19.3 million Canadians to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Cordery.

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“That’s three million more than what we predicted last year.”

She believes that’s partly due to more Canadian retailers jumping on board what used to be an American post-Thanksgiving tradition.

WATCH: How to get best bang for your buck on Black Friday

3. Shoppers in Saskatchewan spent the most last year

Numbers from last year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend show that shoppers in Saskatchewan spent the most, with the average credit or debit transaction ringing in at $140.81, according to Consolidated Credit and Moneris.

Alberta was a close second, charging an average of $126.41 to plastic.

(On a side note, those two provinces also have the highest levels of consumer debt, according to Equifax.)

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Those in B.C. and Quebec spent the least (at least on plastic).

4. The most sought-after Black Friday item is…

Clothing and accessories seem to be the most popular choice (with 52 per cent of shoppers), followed by tech (44 per cent), based on IPG Mediabrands’ findings.

Research from Statistics Canada released on Tuesday backs that up.

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READ MORE: 6 things to avoid buying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The most searched-for categories in 2014, according to the IPG survey, were electronics and travel. However, only 12 per cent of Black Friday shoppers and 11 per cent of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to purchase travel goods this year.

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5. Black Friday has taken a bite out of Boxing Day

Sales at electronics and appliance stores during December dropped from 16.1 per cent in 2006 to 14.5 percent in 2014. November’s sales in the same department, meanwhile, went up from 8.9 per cent to 10.1 per cent.

December is still our busiest shopping month, though. The busiest shopping day is traditionally Dec. 23.

6. More mobile shoppers

IPG Mediabrands found that more than 54 per cent of Black Friday purchases will be made on a laptop, and 24 per cent will be made on a tablet.

“One in 10 shoppers [plans] to buy something on their mobile phone,” said Cordery.

She expects that number to only increase in coming years.

WATCH: Online shopping this Black Friday? Here are tips on how to get the best deals

7. Black Friday still isn’t as big in Canada as it is in the U.S.

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Cordery thinks that has something to do with us having Boxing Day on Dec. 26, “which is kind of unique.”

Almost 30 per cent of those surveyed by IPG Mediabrands felt they get better deals on Boxing Day than on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

WATCH: A tale of two countries on Black Friday

8. The majority of Canadians aren’t willing to fight for a bargain (even though more than a third have witnessed it happen)

“Only 12 per cent of people said they’d be prepared to get into an argument over a Black Friday deal. So the minority, but you’ll want to keep away from those 12 per cent, maybe.”

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