Visa Canada

Visa Canada

December 24, 2007 06:00 ET

Canadian Shoppers Expected to Spend $1.2 Billion on Boxing Day

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 24, 2007) - While more than five million Canadians plan to go Boxing Day shopping, bargain hunters may face fewer crowds on December 26 in comparison to previous years. Twenty-three percent of holiday shoppers anticipate making purchases on Boxing Day - 17 percent less than last year and the lowest recorded average since 2002. Conducted by Omnitel, results from the ninth annual Visa Canada gift-giving survey also reveal that Boxing Day shoppers expect to spend 29 percent less this year ($233 versus last year's national average of $328)(i).

"After several weeks of searching for holiday gifts, it seems that many Canadian shoppers look forward to spending time with their families and friends this Boxing Day," said Tania Freedman, Director, Corporate Communications, Visa Canada. "Many of those who plan to go Boxing Day shopping say they'll be on the lookout for electronic goods or clothes."

Regional Highlights

Survey results categorized by province show some repeated trends as well as several new regional variations. For the third year in a row, Ontarians are the most likely to go Boxing Day shopping (30 percent). All other regions are on par or slightly below the national average of 23 percent, with Atlantic Canada (17 percent) and Quebec (16 percent) reporting the least number of Boxing Day shopping enthusiasts. Although Ontarians seem to be the most likely to hit the malls, they can no longer claim to be Canada's biggest Boxing Day spenders. Albertans, who also plan to spend the most by region on holiday gifts, report that they plan to fork over $431 on Boxing Day - the biggest average spend across all regions and 85 percent more than the national average of $233.

Holiday spending(i) by region:

% of No. of
population persons Average amount
Region planning planning planned to be
to shop to to shop on spent per Total Boxing Day
Boxing Day Boxing Day shopper on spending planned
Boxing Day
NATIONAL 23% 5,063,061 $ 233 $ 1,179,693,228
Canada 17% 295,917 $ 195 $57,703,822
Quebec 16% 785,384 $ 129 $101,314,591
Ontario 30% 2,519,049 $ 226 $569,305,143
/Saskatchewan 21% 294,192 $ 166 $48,835,799
Alberta 21% 445,068 $ 431 $191,824,142
Columbia 23% 702,480 $ 217 $152,438,152

(i) On all forms of payment among those who shop for the holidays

All I want for Boxing Day

According to survey results, electronic goods and clothing have historically ranked as the top two items on the shopping lists of Boxing Day bargain hunters nationwide. While the results this year are no different, electronic goods have slightly surpassed clothing as the number one item Canadians hope to purchase (35 percent versus 34 percent).

Boxing Day shoppers also anticipate purchasing housewares (seven percent), music items (five percent) and home furnishings (four percent). Perhaps planning for next year's holiday, some shoppers plan to purchase seasonal items, including holiday decorations (five percent), gift wrap (three percent) and holiday cards (two percent). Twenty-four percent were undecided and said they simply plan to browse for good sales or bargains.

Boxing Day spenders by gender

Although this year's results find that men, on average, expect to spend more than women on Boxing Day, men's expected spend has decreased a significant 43 percent from 2006 ($238 versus $415). This is the lowest expected spend reported by male Boxing Day shoppers since this question was first asked in 2002. This year's expected spend by female Boxing Day shoppers is $227, on par with year-over-year data.

In terms of wish lists, far more men than women hope to buy electronic goods (43 percent versus 26 percent), while women are more than twice as likely as men to shop for clothes (50 percent versus 19 percent). Female Boxing Day shoppers report that they're also on the lookout for holiday decorations (nine percent), housewares (eight percent) and music (six percent). Men say they will also be tempted to purchase housewares (seven percent), as well as sports equipment (six percent) and computers (five percent).

About the same percentage of respondents from both genders refuse to wait in line to enter a store on Boxing Day (62 percent of men and 64 percent of women).

Demographics of Boxing Day shoppers

Forty percent of survey respondents aged 18 to 29 report that they hope to browse for sales on Boxing Day. This percentage surpasses shoppers aged 30 to 49 (24 percent) and those 50 or older (11 percent).

Nearly two out of three Boxing Day shoppers expect to start shopping by 11 a.m. (64 percent) and one in four (24 percent) hopes to arrive at the store before 9 a.m. British Columbians (46 percent) are the most likely to wait in line to enter a store, followed by shoppers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (45 percent) and Atlantic Canada (43 percent). Only 15 percent of Quebecers said they would wait in line.

Better late than never

Are Boxing Day shoppers still scrambling to purchase presents the day after Christmas? Whether they're picking up a last-minute gift on the way to a family reunion or purchasing a festive treat for an overlooked friend, half (49 percent) of Boxing Day shoppers hope to purchase 2007 holiday gifts after Christmas.

Eat, drink, be merry...and sleep

Although 23 percent of respondents hope to go Boxing Day shopping, a larger percentage hope to avoid the malls and engage in other activities instead. Of those respondents who aren't planning to shop on December 26, twenty-seven percent said they expect to spend time with family and friends - an increase of five percent over 2006. Perhaps tired from all of the season's festivities, one in five hopes to catch a nap. Some plan to relax and rest (14 percent), while the same percentage hopes to stay home with family and eat leftovers. A smaller group of those not shopping said they plan to work (six percent), spend time outdoors (five percent) or clean up the house (4 percent). Six percent of respondents have no plans and will simply do "nothing".

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

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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,

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