Changing consumer habits lead to a quieter Boxing Day Lower Mainland – BC
The line to get into the Best Buy at Cambie Street and W 6th Avenue was empty Monday morning. For the few who showed up at 8 a.m., there was no need to elbow through the crowd or make a mad dash for sales.
“I think a lot of online shopping is evolving now and nobody’s going to be struggling to find things,” said Glenn, who stopped by to shop.
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This year was unlike previous years, people would wake up early and wait in line for hours to find the perfect deal.
Rainy, icy and cold weather may be one reason for the slowdown, but retail analyst David Ian Gray says Canadians are feeling the brunt of rising costs — from food to gas to higher interest rates.
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“For the vast majority, they’re trying to find ways to stretch their budget and many people are actually budgeting for the first time in their consumer lives,” Gray said.
The pandemic pushed many shoppers online, Gray said, but consumers are also more selective about what they buy and prefer to do a lot of research beforehand.
“In general, young people would gather their friends and it would be a sport… we will go to the malls. Not just online, but going back to stores and the pandemic has had a dampening effect.”
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Signs were everywhere announcing bargain prices, Boxing Day felt like a big event, but the excitement around bargains was missing in some places this year.
“It’s always busy, always people in line (but) here, I think it’s changing now,” said shopper Daniel.
In addition to the weather and financial constraints, many stores began rolling out their deals ahead of Boxing Day in a bid to attract budget-conscious shoppers.
Despite its quiet start, Boxing Day remains one of the country’s most popular sales days and could make a comeback in the coming years.
“It’s something that happens once a year,” said Daniel. “You get the stock, but it’s also fun to chase that stuff.”
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