Bargains push B.C. shoppers across the border
The Canadian economy is expected to pick up in the third quarter, according to Royal Bank. (AP / Michael Sohn)
Published Friday, November 16, 2012 1:21PM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2012 1:38PM PST
A new study released Friday shows that the two-thirds of British Columbians who crossed the border to go shopping this past year werelargely motivated by saving money.
The Cross-Border Shopping Study carried out online by Ipsos Reid surveyed 2,477 British Columbians who are 18 years old and older between Oct. 16 and Oct. 29. The results reveal four of the top five factors driving shoppers to the U.S. focus around spending less cash.
According to the study, 66 per cent of British Columbians who travelled south to buy goods were concerned about retail price differences, 51 per cent were interested in the availability of deals from a retailer, 49 per cent were motivated by currency exchange rates and 39 per cent were influenced by the cost to cross and stay across the border.
The single non-monetary factor that drove B.C. shoppers to the U.S. was the variety and selection at retailers (52 per cent).
“It will be interesting to see how these numbers are impacted by the influx of American retailers to Canada,” Dave Pierzchala of Ipsos Reid said in a news release.
“These figures suggest that Canadians will still be heading to the U.S. unless the U.S. retailers operating in Canada offer pricing in Canadian locations that is in line with their U.S. pricing.”
Seventy-two per cent of British Columbians said they felt no guilt about spending their money in a different country, while 15 per cent admitted to lying to customs officers about how much they had spent.
Pierzchala believes that nationalism will lose out to a good bargain.
“These numbers show that Canadian retailers cannot wrap themselves in the flag especially when some Canadians are willing to risk a run-in with customs for the sake of a deal,” he said.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online studies of this nature, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100 per cent response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 1.97 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error would be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population.