Black Friday, which falls on the day after American Thanksgiving this week, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the U.S., and Cadillac Fairview wants that business to stay close to home.
“It’s certainly a hope to keep shoppers within Canada,” said Meredith Vlitas, the senior marketing director at Toronto’s Eaton Centre. “We wanted to help Torontonians avoid long lines, the commute, and be able to find deals in the comfort and convenience of their own back yard.”
Canadians saw an increase in duty-free exempt goods on June 1, raising the amount from $50 to $200 on 24-hour trips south and from $400 to $800 on stays of 48 hours or more, making shopping trips to the U.S. far more enticing for Canadians.
Deloitte, a Canadian professional services firm, released a survey saying nearly 40 per cent of Ontarians plan to head south for their holiday shopping.
While Cadillac Fairview said in a release that the extended shopping hours aim to keep shoppers spending their money in Ontario, a separate Deloitte survey shows store hours may not have anything to do with where or why shoppers spend.
“What we found in our survey, in terms of what Canadian [shoppers] look for was price, selection, and that they carry the brands that people are looking for,” said Eric Matusiak, the Greater Toronto Area retail manager for Deloitte.
Around 68 per cent of shoppers within the GTA will complete at least some of their shopping online, according to the Deloitte survey.
Matusiak said these numbers don’t necessarily mean shoppers won’t be buying in-store.
“We are seeing a growth in online shopping,” said Matusiak. “Will it become the majority? I think that’s going to take a long time, and it may not ever occur. I think there’s a social aspect to shopping.”
Chris Teiman, 20, a first-year sports management student at Humber said he won’t do much of his shopping online.
“Honestly, I just find it easier when you can see the items you’re buying,” said Teiman.
Toronto shopping centres Fairview Mall, Shops at Don Mills, Sherway Gardens, and the GTA’s Fairview Park, Limeridge, Markville and Masonville, Promenade will open their doors at 7 A.M. The Eaton Centre will open an hour earlier at 6 A.M.