By Sarah Larke
Canadian consumers are turning to Black Friday for their biggest holiday shopping trip of the year.
The Retail Council of Canada released a study showing the traditionally American holiday has become more popular in Canada than Boxing Day.
The survey said 40 per cent of respondents plan to shop Black Friday deals. While 35 per cent will still shop on Boxing Day, people are willing to spend more money on the pre-Christmas sales in their area.
Toronto resident Annie Kim said Black Friday is the ideal shopping time for her.
“It’s before Christmas and I want to buy all my gifts in one go,” she said. “December 26, I would probably go if it was more for myself, shopping for things I want, but on Black Friday I’m more likely to spend on my friends and family.”
Although Canadians have adopted the American holiday, fewer people are crossing the border to shop. President and CEO of the Retail Council of Canada Diane J. Brisebois said Canadians think shopping at home is more important now than last year.
“While our shopping habits appear to be shifting and becoming more in tune with our neighbours south of the border, Canadians are showing a greater interest in keeping our dollars at home this year,” Brisebois said.
Kim said she feels better shopping in Toronto than crossing the border into the United States.
“Staying close to home, I think that’s a lot more comfortable for people now. For me, I don’t travel as much as I used to,” she said.
While Black Friday is the most popular shopping day in Canada now, it wasn’t long ago when Boxing Day held the title. Burlington resident Erin Stanhope said she worked the Boxing Day shift when she was an employee at kitchen supplies store Think Kitchen, and it was the busiest day of the year.
“It was kind of nuts being in a small store that sold kitchen stuff,” she said. “You had a lot of breakable items that were stacked quite high. There were women with strollers and stuff, so it was very packed and very busy.”
Stanhope said she thinks the increase in Canadian Black Friday shopping is due to people’s reluctance to cross the border into the United States, and shopping here is more beneficial for the country.
“I think with everything that’s happening with privacy at the border, people don’t really want to do that as much,” she said. “I think it’s super important for our Canadian economy that we keep our shopping here.”