Visa Canada

Visa Canada

December 19, 2007 08:00 ET

Manitoba and Saskatchewan to Spend $1.4 Billion on Gifts This Holiday Season

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2007) - Results of the ninth annual Visa Canada gift-giving survey, conducted by Omnitel, show that Manitoba and Saskatchewan shoppers plan to spend an average of $1,008 on holiday gifts this year - a 20 percent increase over the $841 that was projected last year.

"More than receiving gifts, taking time off work or eating holiday dinners, Manitoba and Saskatchewan shoppers value time with loved ones," said Tania Freedman, Director of Corporate Communications, Visa Canada. "Seventy-three percent of respondents in the region indicated that family time was their most cherished part of the season - almost 10 percent more than the national average and more than any other province in Canada."

To Give and to Receive

Survey results found that 85 percent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents plan to shop for the holidays this year. They were least likely to say that their spouse was the most difficult to shop for, though 27 percent did place their partner at the top of this list. Coming a close second, twenty-five percent of shoppers rank shopping for their parents as the biggest challenge - the highest percentage nationally and four percent above the average.

Holiday shoppers in Manitoba and Saskatchewan love to give: they plan to shop for an average of 11 people versus the national average of 10. They were also least likely to buy a gift for themselves when out shopping (29 percent compared to the national average of 37).

So what are shoppers in this region buying for their friends and families this December? Clothes still top the list. Seventy-seven percent of respondents expect to purchase the latest fashions for their friends and loved ones, followed by gift cards and gift certificates (71 percent), toys (63 percent), and books (60 percent). They are more likely than those in other regions to buy home furnishings (26 percent, versus the national average of 18 percent).

According to Manitoba and Saskatchewan parents, clothing, toys and electronics (17 percent, 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively) top Canadian children's "must have" lists. Although parents say they'll purchase an average of 4.4 gifts each - in line with the national average for their children - parents in the region will spend $188 per child, which is below the national average of $204 and the second-lowest projected spend regionally.

With a Click of the Mouse...

Manitoba and Saskatchewan gift-givers value the convenience of online shopping this year with nearly one in four (27 percent) indicating that they are very likely to purchase gifts on the Internet. With books and clothing being the most common online purchases, residents are planning to spend an average of $296 online this year, slightly less than the national average of $324. Among the most common motivators for online shopping in the region are the ability to buy things not available in stores and avoiding the crowds and lines at the mall (82 and 83 percent, respectively).

Other Manitoba and Saskatchewan highlights from the Visa Canada gift-giving survey:

- Eighty-five percent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents expect to go holiday shopping this year.

- Holiday shoppers from these provinces plan to spend $296 each on holiday entertaining - $29 less than the national average.

- Seventy-six percent will be enjoying their holiday meals with relatives, second highest behind Quebec respondents.

- Manitoba and Saskatchewan holiday shoppers plan to attend an average of six parties each - the highest figure nationally.

- Three out of four Manitoba and Saskatchewan shoppers would rather spend the holidays with their extended family than go on vacation.

- When asked about charitable donations, the survey found Manitoba and Saskatchewan shoppers exceed the national average in donations of money (69 percent versus 63 percent) and time (34 percent versus 31 percent).

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


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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