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Holiday season shopping in Canada - statistics & facts

The holiday season is considered the busiest time of year for the retail sector, with a surge in trade typically commencing on Black Friday, the day following U.S. Thanksgiving, leading all the way up to Christmas. Deemed an American shopping tradition, annual Black Friday sales have also gained increasing popularity in other countries (e.g., Canada) over the years, with consumers eager to find a bargain.

Seasonal spending in Canada

During and leading up to the holidays, consumers around the world and in Canada tend to spend a little more than usual. However, how much one spends, does typically depend on a number of factors. In 2021, for instance, Canadians with children were expected to spend more over the course of the holiday period than Canadians without kids. What’s more, there are noticeable differences in expenditure for each generation: during 2021’s holiday season, millennials in Canada were predicted to spend over 1,600 Canadian dollars on average, while baby boomers were projected to spend less than 1,400 per capita. Although people in Canada do like to treat themselves during the festivities, the lion’s share of the money is usually spent on the family.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

In 2021, just under 45 percent of Canadian holiday shoppers planned to shop on Black Friday, making it a more popular choice than Cyber Monday and Boxing Day. Across the various Canadian provinces, more Black Friday participants planned to buy gifts online than in physical stores. In Ontario, for example, some 40 percent of shoppers planned to buy presents online, while less than a quarter intended to purchase them in-store. And despite the fact that Cyber Monday is the “official” online shopping event during the holiday sales period, more people intended to shop for holiday gifts online on Black Friday.

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