Black Friday sales heat up in Canada

by | Nov 22, 2012 | News

Yorkdale shopping mall will be open at 6 a.m Nov. 23 for Black Friday.

By Bianca Bykhovsky

In hopes of deterring consumers from crossing the border to shop, retail stores in Canada are offering their own Black Friday deals.

“The incentive here is to prevent Canadians from going over the border to shop,” Wendy Greenwood, director of marketing at Cadillac Fairview told Humber News on Thursday. “We will be opening our locations super early so that people will get a chance to stop in before work.”

Originated in the United States, Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year in that country and takes place the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. To retailers, Black Friday hopefully means a very profitable day.

“Forty per cent of Canadians report that as more U.S. retailers open stores in Canada, their levels of cross border shopping would decrease,” Eric Matusiak, senior manager at Deloitte Consulting in Toronto, a service firm providing financial services and data, told Humber News.

Matusiak explains some factors behind Canada’s decision to bring the American event across the border.

“American retailers have been taking a greater and greater share of Canadian retail sales,” he said.

The arrival and advertising of American retailers over time has increased in Canada overtime. This is referred to as the spillover effect, Matusiak said, adding that it is one of the main factors behind U.S. chains extending the same sales period up here.

LISTEN: Retail Consultant Eric Matusiak on Black Friday sales

Matusiak does not think the popularity of Black Friday in Canada poses a risk for the Canadian economy.

“The reality is that if people are out shopping, as long as retailers aren’t pricing things below cost, they are still making something,” said Matusiak.

Once retailers offer a hot deal on a group or particular item, consumers will also glance at other items that are not necessarily on sale. The retailers are really counting on this Black Friday sales to drive traffic,” says Matusiak.

Greenwood explains that the rise of the Canadian dollar has fueled competition to increase with the United States, as well as the recent duty-free regulations which came into effect last spring.

“Under changes introduced in the 2012 federal budget, the duty-free limit on visits of more than 24 hours quadruples, rising from $50 to $200, effective June 1,” CBC News reported in May.

Surveys done by Deloitte have shown that the new cross border shopping rules did not necessarily mean that Canadians would suddenly do more shopping than they normally would have.

“We think cross border shopping will decrease over time. It pretty much has peaked,” says Matusiak.