If you’re waiting for Boxing Day for the big sales to arrive you may want to grab your wallet and head to the mall right now.
Despite retail experts saying sales are at an all-time high this year, many stores are slashing prices well before the traditional Boxing Day bonanza.
In fact, some of the best deals are happening in the few days leading up to Christmas.
“The sales are constant. Everyone is trying to out compete,” Steve Tissenbaum, professor at the Ted Rogers school of Retail Management explained. “The whole idea is to get people in the door and once you have them in the door you can sell them the other items that are not marked down as drastic.”
Although the Saturday before Christmas is known as the busiest shopping day of the year, experts predict that Tuesday may end up surpassing that mark, putting those Boxing Day sales numbers to shame.
“It’s not traditionally a Canadian sales holiday… we usually wait for Boxing Day,” said Tissenbaum. “That being said, the sales have been there for the last three or four weeks.”
Tissenbaum says this trend of price dropping before Christmas shows that the American style of selling has come to Canada. He claims that the push for this trend began with Walmart’s introduction into the Canadian market, followed by Target and up-and-comers like Lord and Taylor and Nordstrums are only making this more of a standard north of the border.
“With the large U.S. retailers coming in… they have a different style of competing,” Tissenbaum explained. “The idea is to get your volume up. If you can get your volume up you can get your prices down.”
So how do you use these increased sales to get the most bang out of your buck this holiday season?
Personal shopper Janice Meredith says the key is to do your research ahead of time.
“Create a list, know exactly who you have to buy gifts for, have an idea what you’d like to get for them and attach a dollar value,” she explained. “The more you keep focused on that list the better (able) you are to stay on budget.”
Meredith also suggests you plan out which shops you are going to and plot a route to make the most of your time to avoid getting caught wandering aimlessly in the crowds.
Tap the below interactive map and chart to explore spending changes by province for this Christmas season; data courtesy of Moneris. Mobile viewers click here.