By Sargon Jajjo
Shoppers across the GTA are reaping the benefits of Black Friday north of the border.
Many shoppers had been waiting outside for hours before stores opened, forcing them to shop until they dropped.
Black Friday is normally celebrated in the U.S., but lately, Canadian consumers have been able to enjoy the discounts on this side of the border.
Andre Gray, a shopper at Sherway Gardens, told Humber News that he doesn’t shop frequently but on events like Black Friday, he heads to the mall.
“I am not a regular shopper,” said Gray. “If there is an event like this, then I will shop.”
Still, Gray said he was disappointed in the lack of discounts offered to consumers.
“It doesn’t feel like any different day,” said Gray.
“I don’t know about the States, but here in Canada it wasn’t that serious.”
At Sherway, some store appeared to be busy with Black Friday sales.
Decline over 3 years
The U.S. National Retail Federation expects over 135 million Americans will participate in Black Friday shopping either in-person or online.
The report also suggested that sales have declined over the past three years, with the average American now spending just below $300.
Victoria Arca, who also spent her Black Friday at Sherway Gardens, said she shops regularly, but her experience is more enjoyable when savings are involved.
“I go shopping every day, but I can buy more on a day like today,” said Arca.
“I saved around a hundred dollars, at least.”
Despite the savings, the time spent shopping does take its toll on consumers.
“Tiring … We’ve been shopping since like 6 a.m.” said Arca.
Crowds have really picked up over the lunch hour! pic.twitter.com/WNjevwRH3q
— Ellen Brait (@ebrait) November 25, 2016
Many Canadians were accustomed to crossing the border during Black Friday, but with the loonie valued much lower the U.S. dollar, many Canadians have decided not to cross the border.
According to U.S. Bureau of Transportation, officials have seen a decline in the number of Canadians crossing the border.
In 2014 when the dollar was much higher, over 30 million Canadian vehicles crossed the border compared to the 15 million vehicles that have crossed the border in 2016.