Visa Canada

Visa Canada

December 19, 2007 05:00 ET

Quebecers to Spend $3.2 Billion on Gifts This Holiday Season

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2007) - Results of the ninth annual Visa Canada holiday shopping survey, conducted by Omnitel, show that Quebec shoppers plan to spend the most of all provinces on holiday entertaining ($384) but the least on gifts ($654) this year. Compared to the rest of Canada, Quebecers also expect to attend more holiday dinners and have more holiday festivities within the workplace.

"Quebec respondents said they hoped to take an average of 9.2 days off from work this holiday - more than any other province," said Tania Freedman, Director of Corporate Communications, Visa Canada. "Coupled with the $384 per person they plan to spend on holiday entertaining, the highest amount nation-wide, Quebecers seem to be looking forward to spending time with family and friends."

To Give and To Receive

Compared to the rest of Canada, people in Quebec spend the least amount of money on gifts. This year, holiday shoppers in Quebec each plan to spend $654 compared to the national average of $1,061. While spending is up an average of 12 percent across all provinces, Quebecers plan to spend 11 percent less than they did last year.

Of those who say they're planning to spend less, the number one reason is that they're planning to stick to a budget. Quebecers also shop for fewer people and are least likely to shop for friends, extended family or pets. Quebecers, on average, plan to shop for 7.8 people versus the national average of 11.9.

Much like the rest of the country, 30 percent of Quebecers say that the hardest gifts they have to buy are for their spouse or partner. The average amount spent on significant others in the province is $143 compared to the national average of $225. Quebecers plan to buy 2.6 gifts per child, significantly below the national average of 4.5, and respondents with children plan to spend approximately $132 per child.

So what are people shopping for in Quebec? Holiday shoppers plan to purchase clothes (69 percent), toys (61 percent), and books (56 percent). Quebecers are less likely to purchase gift cards than shoppers in other provinces, though gift cards are at the top of the list of items people want to receive (12 percent), just behind electronics (13 percent).

With a Click of the Mouse

Quebec residents are much less likely to buy gifts online this year. Only 13 percent of those with an Internet connection and a credit card say that will be looking for presents on the Internet compared to the national high of 33 percent in British Columbia.

Those that do shop online in Quebec are looking for books (37 percent), toys (31 percent) and clothing (20 percent) and say they expect to spend an average of $160 on online purchases. Most of these people choose to purchase gifts online to avoid lines and crowds (77 percent).

Other Quebec highlights from the Visa Canada gift-giving survey:

- 14 percent of Canadians nation-wide plan to take 11 to 15 days off work, while one in four Quebecers (27 percent) intends to do the same.

- While they spend less on presents, Quebecers plan to outdo the rest of Canada when it comes to holiday entertaining by spending an average of $384 per person.

- Thirty-nine percent of Quebecers plan to shop for themselves this holiday.

- 61 percent of respondents report that their employers plan to host holiday outings or parties, the highest percentage of workplace parties in the country.

- Quebecers anticipate attending an average of six parties this season, more than in any other province.

The Visa Canada gift-giving survey was conducted between November 1 and 7, 2007 by Omnitel. A random national sample of 1,318 male and female respondents 18 years of age and older were interviewed via telephone. Results for a sample of this size are considered accurate, with a margin of error of 2.67 percent, 19 times out of 20.

About Visa

Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

Contact:

Visa will be unable to provide a spokesperson for media interviews this year.

If you require clarification on data, please contact Joscelyn Smith, Thornley Fallis Communications, 416-473-3375, smith@thornleyfallis.com.

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