Moneris Solutions Corporation

Moneris Solutions Corporation

March 04, 2010 09:30 ET

Small Business Merchants Take Home Gold With 48% Increase in Sales During the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Moneris Solutions data reveals shoppers embraced their wallets while they embraced the Games

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2010) - As Canadians across the country continue to bask in Olympic glory, small business merchants in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., are celebrating the impressive spending by Canadians and international visitors at the 2010 Winter Games. Data released today by Moneris Solutions, Canada's largest debit and credit card processor, reveals that consumers opened their wallets in record numbers during the Games, spending 48% more than they did during same period last year. The findings clearly reflect the best practices employed by the area's small business merchants to ensure they were well prepared to handle the increased number of shoppers during the 17-day sporting event.

"Canadians and international visitors demonstrated their pride by supporting not only their favourite athletes but also local shops, restaurants and attractions," said David Ades, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Moneris Solutions. "Merchants displayed outstanding commitment to service and sales by prepping their businesses for the event. They adjusted their hours of operation, brought in additional inventory and staff to meet demand, and processed credit and debit card transactions quickly and efficiently despite heavy traffic. Based on the outstanding spending results, it was certainly a gold-medal performance for everyone."

Highlights of Moneris Solutions' findings include:

  • Souvenir sales increased almost four times (373%) over the same period last year, while bars and pubs saw a 130% increase in transactions
  • Spectators and visitors sported new clothing, with 98% more men's and women's apparel transactions processed compared to last year
  • International shoppers spent their way to 22% of all transactions
  • Canadians were by far the biggest purchasers, accounting for 78.4% of total spending, while our U.S. neighbours accounted for 9.15% of total spending
  • Internationally, China took the spending gold (3.5%) with an average transaction size of $423. Russia took silver (1.37%) with $236 per transaction, while Japan took bronze (0.95%) with $89 per transaction. Switzerland came in fifth (after Australia) yet beat Japan's average with $140 per transaction

Interestingly, timing proved a big factor in Olympic-related spending. For example, on the very day that Alexandre Bilodeau skied his way to Canada's first gold medal, merchants celebrated a whopping 117% jump in transactions. The day that Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold, merchants celebrated a 127% increase in transactions. And as the nation held its collective breath during the men's gold medal hockey game – possibly the highlight event of the Games for Canadians – spending was down a whopping 41% compared to the same timeslot of the previous five days.

"Olympic fever took this country by storm and small business merchants proved they were ready for all the action," said Mr. Ades. "Businesses in Vancouver and Whistler worked hard to make the checkout experience faster and more efficient by processing transactions through an increased number of chip cards and mobile pay-at-the-table technology. Merchants clearly embraced the opportunity to bring in more customers, ultimately helping to boost their bottom lines."

Moneris Solutions' Vancouver 2010 spending data compared retail sales in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., from February 12-28, 2010 with retail sales in the same area from February 13–March 1, 2009. The data covers all merchant categories (excluding gas merchants) and tallies the dollar value as well as the number of transactions made on Moneris Solutions debit and credit card terminals, representing the largest number across the country.

About Moneris Solutions

As one of North America's largest providers of payment processing solutions, Moneris offers credit, debit, wireless and online payment services for merchants in virtually every industry segment and processes more than three billion transactions annually. Through its Ernex division, Moneris offers electronic loyalty and stored-value gift card programs. With more than 350,000 merchant locations, Moneris provides the hardware, software and systems needed to improve business efficiency and manage payments. For more information please visit

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