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Holiday retail season ramps up with Black Friday

Last Updated Nov 29, 2019 at 5:27 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

It's Black Friday, and Canadians are flocking to stores to score some bargains ahead of the holidays

It's a day that didn't have much significance on this side of the border not too long ago

The shift comes as consumers increasingly plan to spend before Christmas, industry watchers say

This is Black Friday — a day that not so long ago had no significance in Canada — but today it does.

Canadian shoppers craving a deal increasingly turn to the sales bonanza imported from America, where retailers long slashed prices the day after their Thanksgiving holiday — at the expense of another sales spree in Canada — Boxing Day.

The shift comes as consumers increasingly plan to spend before Christmas and check gifts off their holiday lists, industry watchers say, and the change offers retailers a slight edge.

Michael Leblanc, a senior retail adviser with the Retail Council of Canada, says Black Friday now fills a Canadian need.

He says it gives consumers the chance to secure deals on presents rather than shop after the gift-giving season is over.

Forty-three per cent of respondents to the group’s second annual holiday shopping survey planned to purchase items today — up from 40 per cent the previous year.

Only 34 per cent of respondents intended to shop on Boxing Day.

A survey by Deloitte Canada showed a similar disenchantment with the Boxing Day sales day.