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

  • Asian stocks fall amid Trump trade policy fears

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO - Asian markets slipped in muted trading Friday amid worries over U.S. trade policies that may affect regional economies. A stronger yen weighed on Japan's exporters. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 edged 0.2 per cent lower to 19,339.56, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.7 per cent to 2,093.33. Source
  • Coke says it supports World Health Organization's sugar guidelines

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Coke says it supports the World Health Organization's guidelines for limiting added sugar, as the company works on repairing its image in public health circles and reshaping its business. Incoming CEO James Quincey also said the company has "outgrown" its namesake cola and is focusing on becoming a "total beverage company. Source
  • Alberta energy regulator releases rules on heavy oil odours

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta's energy regulator has set new rules to deal with long-standing complaints about powerful, gassy smells from heavy oil operations in the Peace River region. The rules, released late Thursday, grew out of a 2014 inquiry held by the regulator after years of complaints from people in tiny communities neighbouring the operations. Source
  • India rejects extension on pulse imports in blow to Canada's largest market

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- India has rejected a long-standing exemption on pest treatment for peas and lentils in a blow to Canada's top export market for the crops. Federal Agriculture Minister spokesman Guy Gallant confirmed the Indian government has not granted another six-month exemption that would have crops fumigated on arrival, rather than before export, as has been allowed for more than a decade. Source
  • Toronto clothing brand accused of 'exploiting the homeless'

    Economic CTV News
    A Toronto clothing line facing allegations of “glorifying poverty” and “exploiting the homeless” for selling items that are branded with the words "homeless" and "change please" says it’s actually trying to help people in need. Source
  • Canada Revenue Agency expects to track down $400M in tax crackdown

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canadian tax authorities expect to track down $400 million this year they say are owed as part of a campaign to crack down on tax evasion by big international companies and wealthy individuals, particularly those using offshore tax havens, a top official says. Source
  • Numbers show Alberta economy improving, but no change to $10.8B deficit

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta's economy is on the road to recovery and more money is coming in, but there's no change to the government's projected $10.8-billion deficit this year. Finance Minister Joe Ceci says Alberta is going to make $1.5 billion more than expected in the current budget year which ends March 31. Source
  • Average weekly earnings increasing, but not for retail, food and accommodation workers

    Economic CBC News
    The average weekly paycheque for non-farm workers was $961 in December, Statistics Canada says, a figure that has grown by 1.2 per cent last year but belies wide differences between types of workers. Workers in information and cultural industries saw their pay packets increase the most, on average, up by more than 10 per cent last year to $1,350.48 a week. Source
  • Canadians projected to live longer, but can they afford it?

    Economic CBC News
    A new study that projects Canadians born in 2030 will live even longer than the previous generation has prompted concerns over saving enough to enjoy those bonus years. U.K. researchers' study of 35 industrialized countries was published in The Lancet on Tuesday. Source
  • Estimated 8,000 millionaires immigrated to Canada last year, report says

    Economic CBC News
    Canada attracted an estimated 8,000 millionaires last year, trailing only Australia and the United States on the list of top destinations, according to a recent report from New World Wealth. Australia drew 11,000 millionaires, while the U.S. Source