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Retailers spread out Black Friday discounts, hoping to drive demand



Black Friday remains Canada’s biggest shopping day, but with the high cost of living making consumers more cautious when it comes to spending, many retailers are relying on deep, and season-long, discounts to help drive demand.

Black Friday is only days away but at Tanger Outlets, in west Ottawa, Leanne Repetti has already scored some pretty good deals.

“Thirty to 60 per cent off at many of the stores,” says Repetti, who drove from Kingston, Ont. to shop with her mother and friend. “There are some good deals for my kids who want items from Nike and Lululemon.”

A big chunk of holiday shopping begins in November, but it seems the sale stickers on shop windows have come earlier this year.

While Black Friday usually comes out on top as Canada’s busiest shopping day of the year, a recent holiday shopping survey by the Retail Council of Canada revealed that this year, consumer spending is likely to spread-out before and after Nov. 24, meaning less of a day-of peak in sales from past seasons.

The survey revealed a growing number of Canadians are anticipating to shop on Black Friday—40 per cent, up from 28 per cent in 2022. The data also showed a growing number consumers who are delaying significant purchases in anticipation of expected deals around popular shopping days.

The impact of inflation and the higher cost of living is changing buying habits, which retailers have recognized.

In response, businesses will likely drum-up demand with more discounts, longer sale periods, and steeper price cuts on the many products that have seen steady inflationary price hikes.

“From what I’ve seen, a lot of the deals have already started and aside from a few door crashers on Friday, I think this might be it,” says shopper Tish Barbosa. “I’m just doing a little bit of shopping here and there just leading up to Christmas and trying not to do it all at once because I don’t think we’re going to get any more deals.” 

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