Consumers Shopping Early And Local For The Holidays

Canadians may be spending less in some categories this holiday season, but they are eager to support local retailers and businesses while purchasing gifts for others and themselves, says a survey from the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). "More than ever, Canadians understand the critical role retail plays in helping keep our communities strong," says Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO, RCC. "Retailers are doing everything they can to ensure Canadians have the products they want and are offering great promotions so consumers can confidently and safely begin their holiday shopping earlier this year. Canadians, in turn, are increasingly appreciating the role they can play in helping to support retailers and businesses in Canada during this pandemic." The ongoing uncertainty brought on by the pandemic has made Canadians less structured in their approach to planning and budgeting for holiday shopping. Their changing lifestyles are reflected in the types of product categories they intend to purchase. Items that help make peoples' experience at home better, improve their wellness, and promote enjoyment of the outdoors, are seeing increases this year. There is also a growing trend towards self-gifting, particularly because of the deferral spending on travel. How people research, buy, and bring home merchandise is substantially different this year – a quarter of Canadians have begun their holiday shopping early because they are concerned about shipping delays. An ongoing shift towards online shopping will also continue over the holidays as more Canadians say they plan to shop online this season. Consumers expect a seamless, COVID-safe experience across channels, and options such as buy online and pick-up in-store or curbside have, and continue, to grow in importance.