Shoppers were waiting outside Toronto’s Eaton Centre before the doors opened at 6 a.m. on Friday, eager to take advantage of Black Friday sales.
Canadian retailers are offering huge discounts to compete with U.S. stores, where Black Friday has been a long-standing post-Thanksgiving tradition.
Click here to see mall hours across the GTA.
“Retailers are girding against the loss of sales to U.S. counterparts by offering comparable deals,” Kelly Askew, managing director of retail management at consulting firm Accenture told CityNews last week.
Even five years ago, he said, Black Friday was a relatively rare occurrence in Canada.
Thanks to the availability of online shopping –and online advertising – the game has changed and the awareness of Black Friday has increased, Kelly said.
Although there likely won’t be the same number of overnight lineups or customers stampeding into stores for midnight madness deals in Canada as in the U.S., the popularity of Black Friday is growing as retailers continue to feel the squeeze on their bottom line from American competitors.
Retailers like Amazon.ca and Sears Canada have responded with deals that include sales of up to 70 per cent off on everything from television sets, cameras and clothing to kitchen appliances.
And a recent poll released by the Bank of Montreal found that Canadian shoppers are hungry to shop on Black Friday.
Forty-seven per cent of Canadians it surveyed planned on shopping this year — up from 41 per cent last year — with each shopper expecting to spend an average of $292.
With files from The Canadian Press