A third of B.C. shoppers plan to start early, spend less on holiday shopping

Pollster says a trend to cutting holiday spending was found across all income brackets

Derrick Pelley was browsing Coquitlam mall Monday night with his daughter Heidi in search of a bargain.

The single dad says he’s purchasing gifts for the nine-year-old early this year given inflation.

You are reading: A third of B.C. shoppers plan to start early, spend less on holiday shopping

“In previous years, I would never participate in Black Friday. Now, I’m happier than ever that it has extended to a week,” said the Maple Ridge resident.

“My daughter spotted these Air Jordan sneakers advertised to her on TikTok. I asked the store manager if they planned on marking them down for Black Friday. When they said no, I bought them for her for Christmas.”

A new poll shows some British Columbians are starting their shopping early to save money. The Leger poll, commissioned exclusively for Postmedia News, predicts Black Friday will be more than twice as busy as Boxing Day.

A third of shoppers are planning to spend less this holiday compared with last year — triple the number of those planning to spend more. Half are hoping to limit their purchases to below $500.

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Overall, B.C. shoppers with firm budgets are expected to spend an average of $654.

In its survey, Leger asked: “What per cent of your total 2022 holiday budget do you think you will spend on the following days?”

Shoppers predicted they would be forking out the most cash, 23 per cent of their holiday budgets, on Black Friday rather than Boxing Day or Cyber Monday.

To look for savings, seven-in-10 British Columbians began shopping for the holidays before December. Three-quarters planned to scope out more deals and sales than they did in previous years.

Steve Mossop, Vancouver vice-president for Leger, said the “feeling” to cut back on spending this season was universal among all income brackets.

“While the trend is showing that the majority of those planning to spend less have lower incomes, even those with higher income levels are cutting back more than they want to up their spending.”

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Of those surveyed, 11 per cent said they had no plans to shop for the holidays.

The poll is based on online surveys conducted with 1,003 adults in B.C. over two days from Nov. 12 to 14. Its B.C.-wide margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Pelley, a sales manager of Bakerview cemetery and volunteer president of the Aldergrove Business Association, pointed to soaring inflation as a likely cause for both the uptick in costs and change in locals’ shopping habits.

“Local stores do not usually have the brand-name items kids want,” the 57-year-old said. “However, we’re seeing people stepping away from shopping at big-box stores to try and support their community.”

Nearly three-quarters of British Columbians in the Leger poll agreed it was important to shop local this year.

“That’s at least one silver lining,” Pelley said.

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