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Canadians will shop in store on Black Friday, RCC says

 18 November 2019     HGO Staff 

TORONTO – Canadian consumers are beginning to favour Black Friday when shopping for the best deals over Boxing Day, according to the second annual Holiday Shopping Survey conducted by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). In fact, 43% say they will shop the former while only 34% will wait for the latter.

Black Friday is the term given to the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday and has become the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season south of the border. This year, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on 28 November (the fourth Thursday of the month) in the United States.

The RCC survey says the number of Canadian consumers saying they will shop on Black Friday climbed over last year – from 40% in 2018 to 43% this year.

Canadian consumers are beginning to favour Black Friday over Boxing Day when it comes to shopping, according to a new survey from the Retail Council of Canada.The study, conducted for the RCC by Leger, explored Canadian attitudes and intended behaviours around the upcoming 2019 holiday shopping season. While confirming Black Friday is more than a passing trend, it also revealed those who intend to shop on Black Friday plan to spend a greater share of their 2019 holiday budget that day (38% of holiday budget) compared with those who shop on Boxing Day (30% of holiday budget).

“There was a time when Black Friday was a shopping event south of the border and a small number of determined Canadians would brave the lineups for a chance at scoring a good deal on everything from household appliances to electronics,” said Diane J. Brisebois, RCC president and chief executive officer.

“Today, our breakthrough study proves that Black Friday has grown to be a part of Canadian shopping culture with retailers offering eye-opening deals, special promotions and exclusive products on offers that keep shoppers and their dollars here at home,” she continued.

What’s more, Canadians are planning to shop in store, not online this Black Friday – some 72% of the holiday shopping budget will be spent in-store, which only 28% being spent online. There seem to be two reasons for this: 67% of respondents say finding the right gift can be a challenge while 65% prefer to shop in-store so they can see and touch the products they are buying.

The survey also revealed that 36% of respondents believe the deals are better online than in-store. While 44% maintain the deals on Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday) are better online, 40% say they’re better in-store come Boxing Day.

“The retail brick-and-mortar apocalypse is a myth,” Brisebois said. “The study clearly shows that consumers continue to enjoy shopping in physical stores. While the online channel continues to grow in popularity, our findings demonstrate the importance of building meaningful and personalized shopping experiences for Canadian consumers in all retail channels, including brick-and-mortar.”

The three biggest influencing factors when it comes to picking where to shop are: holiday sales or promotions (65%); free shipping (53%); and, a convenient return policy (39%).

The survey also noted the average spend will climb this holiday season to $792, from $675 last year, although more than 25% admitted to spending more than planned.

Canadian consumers are also showing greater loyalty with 85% saying its important to support Canadian retailers this season.

Some 28% of Canadians have already started their 2019 holiday shopping, and 72% will have started by the end of November.

The 2019 RCC Holiday Shopping Survey was conducted online and a nationally representative sample of 2,507 respondents – both male and female over the age of 18. It was conducted in English and French between 7 and 21 October 2019.


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