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Canadians plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year, survey finds

SASKATOON —
When it comes to holiday shopping, a new survey suggests Canadians are expected to go return to pre-pandemic levels.

A new Retail Council of Canada (RCC) survey has found that Canadians say they are going to spend significantly more on holiday shopping, visit more brick-and-mortar stores and attend more in-person celebrations compared to last year.

In 2020, Canadians planned to spend $693; but in 2021, they plan to spend $792, according to the survey.

And because the firm said consumers often spend more than they planned to, that figure could be closer to $800.

“Canadians are ready to put the disruption of COVID behind them and are looking forward to returning to brick-and-mortar stores,” Diane J. Brisebois, RCC president and CEO, said in a press release. “Nevertheless, they are buying differently than they were prior to the pandemic.”

She explained that the blend of in-person and online shopping will continue to rise, with people taking advantage of curbside pickup and delivery.

“Additionally, with the removal of some of the more restrictive COVID mitigation measures, consumers will need extra assurances that physical distancing and other safety measures will be maintained so that they can enjoy the products, promotions, and unique festive experiences retailers will be offering,” Brisebois said.

The fourth annual survey from RCC involved 2,500 Canadians responding to a 155-page questionnaire from market research company Leger, which asked them how the pandemic has affected their financial wellbeing.

According to the RCC, Canadians planned on spending their biggest portion of their holiday budget on clothing. This was followed by food, then toys and lastly, personal electronics.

The survey also found that nearly two-thirds of respondents said they dealt with challenges when it came to items being out of stock, shipping delays and long delivery times with their holiday shopping last year.

This has in turn motivated Canadians to shop even earlier and in-person more so than they might have before, the survey said. Other experts have echoed the same sentiment.

The RCC expects November to remain the busiest shopping month, with 36 per cent of consumers saying this is when they would start chipping away at their shopping list.

And with consumers already facing the tail end of supply-chain issues in North American stores, Canadians overall are expected to be headed to the stores earlier as well, the survey said.



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