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Canadians more optimistic going into the holiday 2021 shopping season and plan to spend significantly more this year

Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day expected to be busier than previous year.

TORONTO, Oct. 21, 2021 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada's (RCC) 4th annual Holiday Shopping Survey of over 2,500 Canadians from coast to coast shows that while COVID continues to impact our lives, people have adapted well and are looking forward to returning to their pre-pandemic holiday traditions wherever possible: in-person celebrations, shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, and, more gift giving

Unlike last year, when the uncertainty of the pandemic made Canadians less structured in their approach to holiday planning, this year they are likely to spend more than last year. Last year Canadians planned to spend $693; in 2021 they plan to spend $792. Given historical information that consumers' actual spending is more than they plan, actual spend in 2021 could be more than $800. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents say they faced challenges last year due to items being out of stock, long delivery times and shipping delays. This will motivate them to start shopping earlier this year or to shop in local stores.

More consumers this year are also planning to take advantage of holiday shopping sales than they have previously. Black Friday is expected to be one of, if not the biggest, shopping days of the year.

Products categories Canadians plan to spend the biggest portion of their budget on are clothing (which has moved into the top spot in 2021 from second in 2020), food, (which has moved down from first spot in 2020 into second spot this year), toys, and personal electronics. They are also looking forward to shopping more in physical stores and buying from a broader mix of retailers.

"Canadians are ready to put the disruption of COVID behind them and are looking forward to returning to brick-and-mortar stores," says Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. "Nevertheless, they are buying differently than they were prior to the pandemic. While it is expected that there will be more in-store buying this year, the blend between physical and online shopping will continue to evolve and consumers expect to have more choices in how and where the products they purchase are picked up and delivered. Additionally, with the removal of some of the more restrictive COVID mitigation measures, consumers will need extra assurances that physical distancing and other safety measures will be maintained so that they can enjoy the products, promotions, and unique festive experiences retailers will be offering."

Supply chain issues facing consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers have been widely reported around the world. As a result, it is anticipated that retail availability of certain items may be tighter than in years past, particularly in late November and December. Consumers that plan ahead and shop early will increase their chances of finding the products and brands they want for the holiday season. And, with expected labour shortages, shopping early will allow consumers to avoid long line-ups or shipping/delivery delays.




About the Survey

The comprehensive 155-page survey was conducted for Retail Council of Canada by Leger and covers Canadians' perceptions on how the pandemic has affected their financial wellbeing, when, where, and how they plan to shop, what they plan to buy, how promotions are affecting their purchase decisions, and general sentiment about holiday shopping. The report also reviews how these planned shopping behaviours vary by category and region across the country. The survey was conducted online between August 12, 2021 and August 24, 2021 in both English and French with a sample size of 2,505 and a nationally representative sample to the Canadian population of 18+. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The full survey can be found at: https://www.retailcouncil.org/research/rcc-holiday-shopping-survey-2021/

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada's largest private sector employer. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retailtm in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.retailcouncil.org

SOURCE Retail Council of Canada

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