Canadians Optimistic Going Into Holiday Season

While COVID continues to impact lives, people have adapted well and are looking forward to returning to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions wherever possible: in-person celebrations, shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, and more gift giving, says the Retail Council of Canada's (RCC) fourth annual ‘Holiday Shopping Survey.’ Unlike last year, when the uncertainty of the pandemic made Canadians less structured in their approach to holiday planning, this year they are likely to spend more than last year. Last year Canadians planned to spend $693; in 2021 they plan to spend $792. Given historical information that consumers' actual spending is more than they plan, actual spend in 2021 could be more than $800. Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they faced challenges last year due to items being out of stock, long delivery times, and shipping delays. This will motivate them to start shopping earlier this year or to shop in local stores. More consumers this year are also planning to take advantage of holiday shopping sales than they have previously and they are also looking forward to shopping more in physical stores and buying from a broader mix of retailers. Supply chain issues facing consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers have been widely reported around the world. As a result, it is anticipated that retail availability of certain items may be tighter than in years past, particularly in late November and December. Consumers that plan ahead and shop early will increase their chances of finding the products and brands they want for the holiday season. And, with expected labour shortages, shopping early will allow consumers to avoid long line-ups or shipping/delivery delays.