Holiday Season | Celebrations before worries

According to a survey, consumers are ready to put their hands in their pockets for this year’s holiday shopping.

Posted at 6:00 am

Nathaëlle Morissette

Nathaëlle Morissette
Press

After experiencing holidays shrouded in health measures for the past two years, Canadian consumers have no intention of missing out on Christmas this time around. They plan to budget about $790 for gifts, an amount equivalent to last year—and also comparable to expected spending in 2019—despite their financial concerns.

“This is the first year that concerns related to COVID have been felt less. People really want to put it behind them. We can feel the excitement,” said Michel Rochette, Quebec president of the Retail Council of Canada (RCCC), which released the results of its 5.E annual Christmas shopping survey.

“The challenges of the past few years and financial concerns are still there, but the people of Quebec are clearly determined not to let this year’s problems spoil their celebrations,” said a statement issued by the RCC.

However, in Quebec, consumers plan to spend less than elsewhere in the country, with an expected budget of $588. Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the other two provinces where consumers expect to spend less than the national average ($608).

According to a survey by the Léger company, 6 out of 10 Canadians believe that their financial situation is worse this year than in 2021. Searching for the lowest prices, sales and the possibility of free delivery are among the main criteria searched by 82% of shoppers. In order to treat themselves and offer gifts to their loved ones, more of them head for holiday shopping in department stores (68%).

The most popular shopping categories were food and alcohol (16%), tied with clothing, followed by restaurants (11%) and toys (9%).

In good news for retailers across the country looking to increase in-store traffic, more than half of consumers buy gifts in-store, up from 44% last year.

According to Deloitte, less spending

Last week though 2022 Holiday Shopping Survey Deloitte Canada did not go in the same direction. Instead, the survey found that household Christmas spending in 2022 will drop 17% from 2021 to $1,520 from $1,841 the previous year.

“As we head into the 2022 holiday season, consumers are worried about many things, whether it’s an economic downturn, rising interest rates, inflationary pressures, new and recurring illnesses or the uncertainty of geopolitics,” said Marty Weintraub, partner, head of national retail. , Deloitte Canada, in a statement. “Regardless of their income, their purchasing power has decreased and they are looking for ways to get more for their money. »

When asked about the Deloitte report, Quebec retailers said they are already starting to feel the excitement of the holidays and that they expect consumers to take advantage of some return to normalcy to spoil their relatives.

“I’m sure,” says Benoît Doyon, founder of Imaginaire gaming stores. “The grandmother has not seen her grandchildren for two years. I’d be surprised if she didn’t want to spoil them this year. People have celebrations like Air Lousse. »

It’s the same story with the Clément boutiques, which specialize in clothing and accessories for toddlers. “Let’s take a 3-year-old who can talk, knows who Santa is, and who hasn’t yet experienced what it’s like to celebrate Christmas. I think a lot of parents will want to make it a little more festive,” says Jean-Philippe Clément, CEO of the eponymous stores. “We are well prepared for Christmas, even more than in other years. »

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