Boxing Day shopping: Biggest sales event of the year

TORONTO -- For Boxing Day shopping, Durga Baudel had a plan of attack.

Instead of lining up outside a downtown Toronto Best Buy when it opened at 6 a.m.

See Full Article

, he had a friend scope out the scene, and call him when it wasn't too busy.

He ended up scoring a printer at a steep discount -- 60 per cent off. His friend, the one who tipped him off, got a new TV. And it only took them two hours, start-to-finish.

"I saved $120 (on the printer), so I'm happy," Baudel said.

While some have said that Boxing Day is losing steam in favour of Black Friday, a Best Buy spokesperson said the day after Christmas is still their biggest shopping day of the year.

Elliott Chun said the store's Boxing Day deals are typically a little better than those on Black Friday, although the November shopping event is a popular day to pick up Christmas gifts.

And on both days, the country is moving toward shopping online, favouring websites and mobile apps over bricks-and-mortar stores.

But that didn't stop crowds from forming at the Toronto Eaton Centre, which brimmed with people toting massive shopping bags in the early afternoon.

"I think for a lot of people, it's a tradition to come to Boxing Day. We've seen crowds at every store, waiting for the doors to open at 6 a.m.," Chun said, adding that more than 400 people lined up outside the downtown Toronto store and about 150 people gathered outside the downtown Vancouver location early Saturday morning.

Nearby, signs advertising Boxing Day sales hung in the windows of nearly every store in Vancouver's downtown mall. Security guards dressed in suits stemmed the flow of people streaming in and out high-end stores such as Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade.

For those who braved the crushing crowds, there were deals to be found.

"The prices were very cheap. I paid, I think, $26 for jeans," said Niklas Thoma, rummaging through his bags from Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch.

It was the first-ever Boxing Day experience for Thoma, a 16-year-old student from Germany.

"It's pretty cool," he said. "It's very busy, but very cool."

Others found the deals lacking this year.

"I haven't really bought anything on sale yet," said Jasmine Nijjar, who had spent about four hours shopping, picking up some tops and makeup along the way.

"There's still good clothes, though," added her friend Sierra Blackwell.

Deal hunters on the Prairies faced the extra challenge of bitter cold.

It was -25 C in Saskatoon where Mdshamin Ahmed was first in line at 4:30 a.m. to buy a camera that had sold out online.

"Ah, it's crazy. It's too cold," Ahmed told CKOM radio as he paced back and forth trying to keep warm.

In downtown Montreal, where many big retailers opened midday, lineups outside popular stores like Victoria's Secret and H&M stretched around the block.

Onkar Jha said he waited in line about half an hour to get inside an Apple store, where he spent about $1,500 on an iPad, watches and electronics.

He said he saved at least $300, which in his estimation made the trip well worth his time.

"Too bad it's only one day," he said.

Meanwhile, all was quiet on Saturday at shopping malls in Atlantic Canada, as businesses there remained closed for Boxing Day. Sales in that region start on Sunday.

Police files

But in some cases, police were forced to get in on the action.

Thirty kilometres west of Toronto, police in Mississauga, Ont., arrested two people for an alleged assault over a parking spot at busy Square One shopping centre. One person suffered minor injuries.

Meanwhile, a police force in Port Moody, B.C., tweeted some sage advice: "If you're engaging in the gladiatorial event known as Boxing Day shopping, do not leave the spoils in your vehicle. Thieves are out too."

With files by Morgan Lowrie in Montreal and Gemma Karstens-Smith in Vancouver



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Wireless wars heat up as big telcos top up phone plans with bonus data

    Economic CBC News
    Wireless wars are heating up again with numerous telcos offering smartphone plans topped up with what many Canadians crave — extra data. The standout deals are in Manitoba where Rogers began the battle this week by doubling the data — at no extra cost — for its 10 GB and 15 GB family phone plans. Source
  • Unions representing CP Rail workers issue notice of strike action

    Economic CTV News
    LAVAL, Que. -- The unions representing train operators and signalling workers at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. have served the company with notice of a strike action. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have told CP Rail they will be in a position to strike as of 10 p.m. Source
  • CP Rail union formally serves strike notice

    Economic CBC News
    The strike notice comes a day after the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference rejected the company's latest contract offer. "After workers at CP voted to reject the last contract offers, the company is still refusing to negotiate seriously," the statement said. Source
  • Loonie sinks to two-week low: Is this the start of another big drop?

    Economic CBC News
    The Canadian dollar fell to a two-week low against the U.S. dollar on Friday as lower oil prices and global trade tensions continue to weigh on the currency. The loonie is already down more than three per cent this year and was at 77.11 cents US on Friday. Source
  • What Trump's proposed auto tariff could mean for Canada

    Economic CBC News
    As with many of the trade actions announced by the Trump administration, the possible effects of his proposed Section 232 investigation of vehicle imports are both menacing and unclear. To understand how it might affect Canada, one first has to know how the Trump administration intends to define an "imported car. Source
  • WestJet agrees to 'settlement process' with pilots union

    Economic CBC News
    Anxious air travellers can now rest easy with the threat of a WestJet strike seemingly at an end. On Friday evening, WestJet and the Air Line Pilots Association agreed to a settlement process through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Source
  • WestJet, pilot's union agree to settlement process with mediator

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- The threat of a strike by WestJet pilots appears to be over. The Calgary-based airline and the union that represents the pilots said Friday they have agreed to a settlement process that will involve a federal mediator. Source
  • Canada's pot industry gets a new supporter: Snoop Dogg

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Canada is more advanced than the United States regarding its approach to cannabis, world-famous rapper and weed entrepreneur Snoop Dogg said Friday to a crowd of hundreds at Montreal's C2 technology conference. The entertainer lamented that in the U.S. Source
  • Energy sector weighs on Canadian markets as oil drops below US$70 a barrel

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's main stock index continued to fall Friday as the price for oil moved below US$70 a barrel and further dragged down the important energy sector. "Today, oil is by far the major story," said Macan Nia, a senior investment strategist at Manulife Investments. Source
  • Mercer International to give up TSX listing following loss at NAFTA tribunal

    Economic CBC News
    Mercer International says it intends to voluntarily de-list from the Toronto Stock Exchange on June 11, about three months after it lost a six-year-old NAFTA battle with the Canadian government. The U.S.-based forest products company had mounted a $250-million claim against the Canadian government in early 2012. Source