Canadian consumers are starting their holiday shopping early

Many Canadians are getting a head start on their holiday shopping, some out of fear that the rising cost of living could lead to higher prices as Christmas approaches.

“It really is playing a factor to be honest with you. Honestly, with the way prices are going, including rent, just going out to groceries,” Alex Reed, a Montreal resident told Global News.

A survey published by Salesforce in the U.S. indicates that 37 per cent of Americans plan to shop early due to inflation.

It’s a similar trend in Canada , where the latest Statistic Canada figures indicate inflation sits at 6.3 per cent for products excluding gasoline.

“I’m definitely trying to get a head start and amongst a group of friends we’ll do a secret Santa instead of buying multiple gifts for people,” Deborah F., a Toronto resident who didn’t want to give her last name, told Global News.

One retail analyst tells Global News the early shopping trend is also a reflection of Canadians wanting to spread their gift expenses over a longer period.

“Prudent shoppers are probably going to try to chip away at things if they haven’t already started now in October and into November so they can spread their payments out over time,” Robert Domagala, the head of Business Development at ReturnBear, told Global News.

Other factors are also weighing on Canadians to get their shopping done early, including supply issues that could lead to delays in deliveries.

“I think I’m thinking a little more in advance because I’m worried I won’t get what I need for the people I want to buy for,” Paul Evans, a Beaconsfield, Que., resident told Global News.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are concerned that shoppers may spend less this year due to inflation at the same time they’re struggling to find staff to keep their stores open.

“They’re living a perfect storm,” François Vincent, the Quebec vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, told Global News.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada reveal that consumer spending in the retail sector dropped in July, the first time in seven months. Clothing and accessories led the decline with a drop in sales of 3.3 per cent across the country.

Retail owners and others businesses just hope that trend won’t continue as they head into the busiest shopping period of the year.


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