December 23, 2016 12:52 pm

Canadians expected to spend more than $1B on Dec. 23, the busiest shopping day of the year

Dec. 23 is typically the busiest shopping day of the year.


Canadians looking to buy last-minute gifts or stock up the pantry are expected to flock to stores Friday: Dec. 23 is typically the busiest shopping day of the year, according to Interac.

Last year consumers spent $1.1 billion using Interac alone, the company said. That doesn’t include cash or credit payments.

READ MORE: Canadians owe $1.67 for every dollar of disposable income: Statistics Canada

Canadians made over 21 million Interac transactions on Dec. 23 last year, according to data from the payment system company, beating out Christmas Eve and Black Friday. That’s up from spending of $993 million in 2014.

“We’re expecting this year to be no different and continue the trend as the busiest shopping day of the year,” said Interac spokesperson Teri Murphy in an email to Global News.

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So what are people buying? Last year groceries nabbed the top spending spot, with more than $200 million spent at grocery stores on Dec. 23, 2015. Discount retailers took second spot with more than $88 million, while adult beverages (beer, wine, liquor) rounded out the top three with nearly $75 million.

All that spending can take its toll: a recent CIBC poll found that while people on average plan to spend less this holiday season, 51 per cent expect to blow past their budget.

CIBC suggested consumers be realistic with family members about holiday expectations and about tracking their expenses.

READ MORE: Consumer spending fuels Canada’s economy — but also puts it at risk

“It’s very easy to get swept up by the holiday spirit and carried away with spending,” CIBC vice-president of imperial services, David Nicholson said in last week’s release. “The best way to stay cheerful is to spend within your means.”

Canadians are planning ahead to help keep spending on track, said Murphy.

“Our national survey showed that one in two Canadians intended to follow a shopping list for holiday purchases,” said Murphy.

“Plan ahead and make a list should you hit the stores today.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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