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Canadians plan to spend more this Christmas: survey

Retail Council of Canada's Jim Cormier says supply chain issues linger this year and many indicate they'll be shopping early
(stock photo)

As Canadians hope for a Christmas season that feels closer to normal this year, many say they plan to spend more on gifts.

That's according to the Retail Council of Canada's 4th annual Holiday Shopping Survey 2021, conducted by Leger, which says many are planning in-person celebrations, shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and more gift giving.

"It's really optimistic news for retailers right across the board," said the council's Atlantic director, Jim Cormier. "You're looking at an average spend of almost $800 per person based on the survey."

"The numbers for Atlantic Canada are even higher, as they always are," he told CityNews Halifax. "I believe we're the second region in the country as far as the most that people are planning on spending at almost $810 per person."

Cormier said it appears traditional buying patterns will be back this year.

"Food, booze and candy will be hot shopping items, as they always are, but people buying gifts as well, like clothing and toys for kids," he said, "and personal electronics are going to be hot items this year."

Nearly two-thirds of the 2,500 Canadians surveyed from coast to coast said they ran into problems last year while Christmas shopping, with some wish-list items out of stock, or delays in shipping.

According to Cormier, supply chain issues linger this year, and many indicate they'll be shopping early.

"Thirty per cent of the respondents said that they've begun shopping in the month of October, 36 per cent plan on starting in November," he explained. "If they come into a store and they can't find the product that they need, they can quickly pivot and try to find it somewhere else, maybe they have to order it in, maybe they have to get it online."

"Understand that if you show up in December ...  you're going to dealing with possible supply chain problems where a product that might have taken two weeks to arrive two years ago, it might take two months now."

He said many continue to be cautious when it comes to crowds, but COVID-19 protocols are still in place at stores.

"Dr. Strang and others have kept the rules in place where you still have to maintain physical distancing, so that limits the capacity in retail environments," Cormier stated. "You can still have a safe and enjoyable retail shopping experience in store."


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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