You Can’t Get a Shot for Black Friday Flu

How sick do you plan to be on Nov. 28?

Sick enough to miss work and go shopping instead?

Around one million people are expected to call in to Canadian employers claiming to be “under the weather” on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, according to a new IPG Mediabrands study.

Another 4.1 million vacation days have been scheduled for the Friday or Monday of the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.

Some people may be traveling to spend the holiday with American relatives. More will be shopping, online or in stores, in Canada or the U.S.

About 24 per cent of Black Friday shoppers will cross the border looking for deals in the U.S., according to the survey. They’ll spend more than $1.6 billion in American stores on Black Friday and up to $3.4 billion on U.S. websites on Cyber Monday.

“Clearly, Canadians are planning ahead and making time for what is fast becoming the most popular shopping weekend of the year,” says Chris Herlihey, Vice President Research at IPG Mediabrands.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are making Boxing Day less relevant. And, it may feel more like ‘Slack Friday’ to many employers year after year.”

Meanwhile, some experts advise that Cyber Monday is not the best day to get deals online.

Researchers say that, for the first time, Thanksgiving Day is when you’ll find the best online prices.

Employers can expect a lot of keyboard action in the cubicles that day to be non-productive for the company.

U.S. retailers are already beating the bargain drums in a big way.

Black Friday flyers from Target, Best Buy, Walmart, ToysRUs and other U.S. stores are posted online, inviting browsing, comparisons and list making.

Their Canadian stores are counting down to Black Friday sale prices, too, but so far aren’t posting them online .

The U.S. flyers are previews only and you’ll have to wait to order online until Nov. 27, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. Most stores are opening at 5 p.m. that day, with extended hours on Black Friday.

If your heart beats faster at the prospect of cheap electronics, toys and apparel, your pulse is probably already accelerating.

(If you plan on calling in sick and need an excuse, you can always tell the truth: a racing pulse and heart palpitations.)

-Target’s Black Friday 27-page flyer has a splashy cover ad for Beats by Dre Solo Drenched Headphones in Black for US$97, regularly priced at US$167.95. They currently sell for CDN $189.99 on

-Best Buy outdoes Target with a US $79.99 price for the same model Beats in white, red or black. Every iPad Air 2 is reduced by $100 and the Panasonic 50” class LED TV is on sale for $199.95.

– Walmart’s 40-page flyer offers the iPad Mini 16GB WiFi for US$199 and throws in a $30 Walmart gift card, bringing the price effectively to US$169.

Preview Black Friday sales for more than 100 U.S. stores and online sites at