Black Friday deals come to Canada

The holiday shopping season here in Canada is looking more American than ever this year, as retailers scramble to hold onto business they’ve previously lost south of the border via Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Canadian retailers have jumped in on the trend this year, hoping to keep Canadians shopping at home rather than heading to the US. This means that come Friday, the busiest malls and stores will have extended hours, door crasher events and heavy markdowns similar to that which is usually reserved for Boxing Day.

In the US, Black Friday coincides with their Thanksgiving holiday, marking the beginning of the holiday shopping frenzy. While it is just another day here in Canada, Canadians are increasingly participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, as a way to avoid waiting until after Christmas to take advantage of the deep discounts.

A recent CIBC poll found that nearly 1 in 10 Canadian shoppers plan to make a purchase during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, meaning millions of Canadians will be looking for deals this weekend.

Some say the move towards Black Friday sales north of the border is an act of desperation among retailers, whose customers now expect a lot more than they did five years ago. The high value of the loonie and the access to American deals online has left many Canadians giving their business to retailers in the US. With the federal government relaxing cross border shopping rules in June, shoppers are more likely than ever to head south, where they can now bring back $200 worth of products duty-free after one night in the country, rather than the $50 they were able to last year.

Many Canadian retailers will be joining in the shopping bonanza including: Future Shop, Best Buy, Walmart, Zellers, Sears, Sephora, The Gap, Canadian Tire, The Body Shop, Chapters and Indigo, La Senza, Lululemon, Old Navy, Petsmart, The Source, Sport chek, Toys R Us, Banana Republic, Apple and Amazon.

Staples will offer some notable tech item sales, including:

  • HP Envy 6 Windows 7 Sleekbook for $499
  • Kobo Mini eReader for $49.12
  • XBOX 360 4GB Console and Kinect™ Sensor Bundle for $199.99
  • Canon EOS Rebel T3 with 18-55 mm IS Lens Bundle for $399.43
The Canadian website Red Flag Deals has a comprehensive guide of all the stores participating, along with links to flyers and the best deals available this year.

Sources: CTV, Financial Post, Red Flag Deals

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