Mélanie Boulbes stood in the lineup of shoppers outside Best Buy starting at around 7 a.m. Friday morning in downtown Montreal.
For Boulbes, who moved to Canada from France last March, the idea of Black Friday is a new concept. She wanted to see what the frenzy was all about — and she knew she could get a cheap TV.
“It’s a new thing,” she said. “We wanted to participate.”
Business experts like Saibal Ray of the Bensadoun School of Retail Management at McGill University peg Black Friday’s entrance into the Canadian shopping market at around 2008, when the loonie was strong enough that Canadian shoppers crossed the border to take advantage of deals offered after Thanksgiving in the states.
The phenomenon is now a fixture on the Canadian retail calendar, meaning lineups for discounts on flat screen TVs and high-end audio equipment.
“All during the day and weekend people are going to take advantage of the specials,” said Best Buy spokesperson Thierry Lopez.
As popular as the day is, consumer advocates like Jacques St-Amant wants shoppers to know if a product is no longer available, the retailer is legally obligated to offer a similar product or a coupon.
He also warns buyers to beware, especially where extended warranties are concerned.
“There is actually a legal warranty that is free, and is often more effective than the extended warranty,” he said.