Black Friday is the new boxing day. That’s according to a recent study done by the Retail Council of Canada.
The study found that 40 per cent of Canadians intend to shop on Black Friday, surpassing the 35 per cent that say they plan to shop on Boxing Day.
“We have been hearing from retailers for years that Black Friday is starting to supersede Boxing Day,” said Michael LeBlanc, senior retail advisor for the Retail Council of Canada. “Now we have some consumer evidence around intent.”
He added that Cyber Monday is also growing, with 30 per cent of Canadians planning on purchasing something that day.
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LeBlanc said that the report also found more Canadians plan to stay in the country to shop, rather than spend their dollars South of the border in the U.S.
“Eighty-seven cent of Canadians said they were going to shop in Canada this holiday,” he said. “It told us that Canadians were taking big economic discussions to heart and understanding that when they spend their dollars in Canada or right in their community it creates jobs for their friends and family.”
LeBlanc said Black Friday and Cyber Monday have grown considerably over the past decade, triggered by consumers expressing a desire to have a shopping event prior to Christmas.
Thursday, the Trudeau government introduced legislation to force an end to rotating strikes by Canada Post employees. It was a move to combat a backlog of mail and packages at major plants. It is being called undemocratic by union reps and while unpopular, the Retail Council of Canada had encouraged it, saying the season for retailers was in jeopardy.
“Our fear was that if you’re weeks away from a resolution and had all of these black Friday Cyber Monday deals, that it was going to collapse the system,” LeBlanc said. “Our encouragement to consumers would be this is not the season to wait to order online. Plan it now, order it now and if all goes well, Canada Post will be able to clear out their backlog and the influx that is about to happen as well.”
He said big-box stores have already been working on shipment alternatives, some incurring costs to foot the bill for other delivery services and others encouraging shoppers to reserve the product online and pick it up in-store.
Meanwhile, some local retailers are hoping shoppers will forego delivery and shipping altogether and shop locally instead.
“If you come down and shop at a local shop, you’re going to leave with the item that day,” said Mike Watt, owner of Flavour, S.O.S. and Providence in Peterborough, Ont. “You can try it on, you can feel the fabrics, do all those things and walk home with it.”