Shoppers line up at 3:30 a.m. looking for Black Friday deals
Published Friday, November 24, 2017 9:20AM PST
Last Updated Friday, November 24, 2017 11:19AM PST
Some shoppers looking for deals on electronics and other products lined up as early as 3:30 a.m. in Metro Vancouver, but it seemed like many opted to hunt for sales online instead this Black Friday.
CTV News was at the Best Buy in Burnaby's Metrotown mall Friday morning and found about 50 people in line when the doors opened at 6 a.m. The person at the front said he’d been there about 2.5 hours.
While some think the day is made for shoppers looking for deals on Christmas presents, analysts say the majority of people hunting for bargains are shopping for themselves.
Canada's brand of Black Friday chaos typically doesn't include the brawls seen south of the border, but the second busiest shopping day of the year seemed tame even by local standards.
Part of the reason Metro Vancouver malls were quiet Friday morning may be shopper fatigue.
According to Accenture's 2017 holiday shopping survey, 48 per cent of Canadians are less inclined to shop on Black Friday than they were a few years ago. The most likely to shop on days like Black Friday and Boxing day are younger millennials, the survey suggested.
More than half of people surveyed said they shop for holiday gifts throughout the year, rather than as the holidays approach.
For those who did plan to shop, 42 per cent said they'd visit a store, while 41 per cent said they'd shop on a computer and the remainder said they'd be looking for deals on their cellphones or tablets.
Boxing Day is still the biggest shopping day in Canada.
Retail analyst David Ian Grey said it was "really ridiculous" that Canadian stores even observe the event timed around American Thanksgiving weekend.
"In the United States they don't have (Boxing Day), so this day was the day retail could clear out whatever wasn't selling and really finish the year on a positive note as best they could," he told CTV.
But Black Friday migrated north due to U.S. ownership of chain stores with franchises in Canada.
"Once a few of the big boxes in Canada started, others started to jump on and it became a media day as it is today. And it was sort of a free ad for people to start shopping for the season," he said.
"Flash forward to where we are now, almost every retailer, whether they want to or not, really is forced to do something in Canada."
He said the pressure is especially felt by stores located in malls. If an owner decides not to do a Black Friday sale, they risk losing out on the traffic that came to the mall specifically looking for discounts.
But Grey said after a few years of hype, the trend in Canada appears to be more of a Black Friday "month," where sales start earlier than the actual day and last a bit longer.
"People are buying over a period of time not just on that Friday."
Similar shopping habits are seen online. What was once Cyber Monday is now stretched into a weekend of sales.
And consumers are becoming more savvy, with many leaving empty-handed if they aren't seeing the discounts they'd hoped for.
"They know the retailers' game right now and it's not to give the very, very best deals. But if it's something that you want and it happens to be the product that is on sale, it's a game. Do you wait, or do you risk going up, or do you buy it then and there?" he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim