Visa Canada

Visa Canada

December 26, 2006 04:00 ET

Visa Canada: Canadians to Spend $1.9 Billion on Boxing Day

Over half of today's shoppers are still looking for 2006 holiday presents

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 26, 2006) -

Attention news and assignment editors

Almost six million Canadians will head to local stores today in search of Boxing Day bargains with the average shopper planning to spend $328, up slightly from last year's national average of $319. Conducted by Maritz Research, results from the eighth annual Visa Canada gift giving study also show that of those shopping today, 58 percent are still looking for holiday gifts for the 2006 holiday season.

The total amount spent by shoppers on Boxing Day is expected to top $1.9 billion, which is only slightly under the $2.3 billion shoppers planned to spend on the busiest pre-Christmas shopping day. Regionally, spending for Boxing Day breaks out as follows:

Holiday spending

% of Average amount Total Boxing
population spent per Day spend
shopping shopper on for region
on Boxing No. shopping Boxing Day
Region Day on Boxing Day
NATIONAL 27% 5.9 million $328 $2 billion
Atlantic Canada 17% 286 thousand $184 $52 million
Quebec 25% 1.2 thousand $285 $367 million
Ontario 31% 2.7 million $414 $1.1 billion
Manitoba 23% 191 thousand $231 $44 million
Saskatchewan 23% 161 thousand $231 $37 million
Alberta 26% 557 thousand $384 $214 million
British Columbia 29% 807 thousand $279 $225 million

What are Canadians buying today?

For the fifth year in a row, clothing tops the list of items Canadians hope to pick up today, as 46 percent of shoppers plan to update their wardrobes. Electronics stores will also be hopping as 30 percent of shoppers expect to head home with a new gadget. Eight percent of shoppers don't have anything specific in mind, planning instead to wander in search of a good sale or bargain. Christmas wrap and decorations are also popular items with six percent of store-goers hoping to stock up for next year.

Male shoppers, almost half of whom say they'd stand in line to get into a store on Boxing Day (compared to only 37 percent of women), will be out in force today at local electronic stores. While only 13 percent of women have visions of buying the latest tech tool, 43 percent of men expect to pick up a new electronic toy.

On average, men plan to spend significantly more on Boxing Day than women ($414 versus $222). Given that male shoppers are more likely to purchase larger ticket items, including computers and home furnishings, it's not surprising to see their average spend increase by $50 this year. Female shoppers, who expect to spend $222 today, are more likely to shop for clothing, housewares and Christmas wrap or decorations. Younger Canadians, those between the age of 18 and 29, will outspend their older counterparts ($355 versus $342 for those 30-49 years and $239 for shoppers over 50) - in fact, 36 percent plan to spend more than $200 today.

Earlier this month, Visa revealed that 22 million Canadians planned to buy gifts over the holiday season and that they expected to spend $20 billion on presents this year. Between November 26th and December 20th, Canadians spent nearly $11 billion on their Visa® cards, and, during the holiday season's two busiest days, Visa Canada expected to process over nine million credit card transactions, amounting to approximately $1 billion in sales volume.

Holiday Gifts

Of those looking for 2006 holiday gifts, shoppers in Ontario (71 percent) the Atlantic region (63 percent), and British Columbia (62 percent) are the most likely to rush out to the mall to pick up a gift before visiting with family today. Manitoba (57 percent), Saskatchewan (57 percent) and Alberta (41 percent) all saw declines in the number of shoppers who are looking for late holiday gifts. The amount spent today by individuals in those provinces still shopping for holiday gifts is approximately $312.

Across the country, men are slightly more likely to still be Christmas shopping today than women (60 percent versus 56 percent); however both saw increases this year of seven percentage points over last. In past years, shoppers over the age of 50 were the most likely to hold off buying a Christmas present until Boxing Day, but this year Canadians between the age of 30 and 49 have taken over top spot (61 percent). Younger Canadians, those 18-29 years of age, are least likely to holiday shop today.

What else will Canadians do today?

Twenty-seven percent of Canadians would rather stay home and eat leftovers today than shop and 22 percent will spend the day visiting with family and friends. Over one-third of survey respondents who are not planning to shop today said they have every intention of relaxing (19 percent), sleeping (12 percent) or watching television (five percent). Six percent will recuperate from a generally busy holiday season by simply doing "nothing."

A smaller group of active Canadians will spend time outdoors or clean up around the house (three percent). The same percentage just hasn't had enough socializing and will have a party. Six percent will head out to work.

The national telephone survey was conducted between November 1 and 6, 2006. A total of 1,508 male and female respondents 18 years of age and older were interviewed. The findings are accurate, plus or minus 2.52 percent, 19 times out of 20.

About Visa Canada

Visa connects cardholders, merchants and financial institutions through the world's largest electronic payments network. Visa products allow buyers and sellers to conduct commerce with ease and confidence in both the physical and virtual worlds. Visa is committed to the sustained growth of electronic payment systems to support the needs of stakeholders and to drive economic growth.

Visa products currently generate more than $US 4 trillion in sales volume worldwide. Visa cards have unsurpassed acceptance at more than 24 million locations worldwide including one million ATMs. Within Canada, financial institutions have issued more than 27 million Visa cards, accounting for $CDN 164 billion in sales volume in the last fiscal year. For more information, visit

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