Consumers Look Forward To In-store Holiday Shopping

While COVID continues to impact the lives of Canadian consumers, they look forward to returning to shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and more gift giving, says the fourth annual ‘Holiday Shopping Survey’ by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). This year, Canadians plan to spend more ($792 in 2021 versus $693 in 2020) and they plan to start their shopping earlier. More consumers this year are also planning to take advantage of holiday shopping sales than they have previously. Holiday sales and promotions (50 per cent) and free shipping (49 per cent) have the most influence on where Canadians will choose to shop. Black Friday is expected to be one of, if not the biggest, shopping day of the year. While it is expected that there will be more in-store buying this year, the blend between physical and online shopping will continue to evolve and consumers expect to have more choices in how and where the products they purchase are picked up and delivered. In-store shopping will increase but online will continue to be strong, emphasizing once again the importance for retailers to provide seamless experiences across their selling channels. Sixty-three per cent (versus 58 per cent in 2020) of total purchases are expected to be in-store this year and 37 per cent (versus 42 per cent in 2020) will be online. Pre-pandemic in 2019, 72 per cent of total purchases were planned to be in-store and 28 per cent online. The survey also says that supporting local retailers continues to be important to Canadians. Seventy-eight per cent of consumers feel it is important to shop locally, with 81 per cent of those respondents saying it is especially important to support local retailers that have suffered due to lockdowns.