After two years of lockdowns, restrictions and global supply chain issues, shoppers were out in droves at Cataraqui Centre to take advantage of Black Friday sales according to sales assistant Jessa Doxtater.
“10 a.m. it was a little slow, we just had a big rush, we often have waves of people and not like a consistent busy time.”
Ken Wong, a professor of marketing at Queen University’s Smith School of Business, says part of the reason for the business is pent-up demand after over two years of COVID-19 restrictions. An even bigger factor, he says, is that the supply chain problems of the last year-and-a-half have diminished and retailers are being flooded with inventory.
“When you combine the fact that we’ve got this inventory glut right now with the fact that the economy and economic concerns are the number one priority for 75 per cent of all Canadians, what you are seeing is a more motivated seller,” he said.
“So you are going to see bigger discounts this Black Friday than you would have seen in past years and over a wider array of products.”
Despite inflation and increased expenses tightening many family budgets this year, shoppers like Sandy Henderson had a mixed reaction when asked how much they plan to spend this black Friday.
“I’m a bit of a shopper so I have to say probably not, I’ll probably spend the same amount as I did last year,” she said when asked if she planned to reign in her spending.
Matt Darlington, on the other hand, admitted to feeling the strains on his wallet.
“Money has been really tight for us recently so trying to keep a balance between Christmas and normal spending has been really difficult.”
With Christmas and Boxing Day just around the corner, shopping season has only just begun.