People didn’t let the extreme cold deter them from Boxing Day shopping.
Shoppers in Saskatoon visited their favourite store or stores on Boxing Day looking to find a sweet deal or two on that must-have electronic device, gaming system or new TV and laptop.
That included the Preston Crossing Best Buy, where people arrived early to make sure they got what they were looking for.
Store leader Rokhan Sarwar says deals saw multiple items on sale for $100 off and more.
“We did have a lineup when we opened early in the morning at 6 a.m.,” said Sarwar. “People were rushing in for the severely discounted items, big-screen TVs, major appliances, gaming consoles, laptops — those are the hot selling items today.
Sarwar says even with supply chain issues across the globe, they did not have any issues save for a couple of items, including the PS5, which sold out around noon.
According to a study done by Statistics Canada, the fear of supply shortages resulted in many people heeding the advice of economists to get their shopping done early, leading to fewer people in the door at many shopping locations.
Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce CEO Jason Aebig says based on the stats collected, people were going out a full two months or sooner beforehand. Online shopping was also another means to bypass Boxing Day madness.
“October 2020 to October 2021, shopping went up 10 per cent, a 10 per cent increase,” said Aebig. “That tells me people were heeding the advice provided to them by the experts.”
According to StatCan, retail sales were up 1.6 per cent to $57.6 billion in October 2021. Sales increased in seven of 11 subsectors, or 59.9 per cent of retail trade, with motor vehicle and parts dealers jumping over two per cent in both areas.
Visions Electronics also saw a good turnout. Faithful Avenue store manager Niall Richmonde-Nykiforuk says TVs, vehicle command starters and appliances were items flying off the shelves.
“We faced a lot more of hectic busy around Black Friday,” said Richmonde-Nykiforuk. “We have been pretty good for Boxing Day, with no issues getting what we need. The sales start a couple of weeks before Dec. 26 and go after the day as well.”
Both managers agree inflation could have also been a reason people were being a little more selective with their purchases and watching their wallets.
“Luxury goods, like cars and trips, experiences, the nice to haves tend to get shelved at least for the time being, maybe revisited at a later time,” said Aebig.
Sales through the holiday season were expected to be around average at both shopping locations.