A new report says holiday spending in Canada is expected to drop this year as inflation shrinks consumer buying power and economic uncertainty looms.
In its 2022 Holiday Retail Outlook, Deloitte Canada says overall holiday spending is expected to fall 17 per cent to $1,520 per household as recessionary concerns and higher interest rates rein in budgets.
It says Canadians are also planning to shop early and hunt for deals in a bid to stretch their spending power.
The report, based on a Leger survey of more than 1,000 Canadians conducted in late August, found more than a third of respondents plan to start shopping earlier than last year.
Retailers appear to be responding by rolling out Christmas-themed products earlier, with some even moving holiday promotions earlier in the fall.
Amazon Canada, for example, introduced the Prime Early Access Sale last week, offering Prime members a two-day shopping event
Meanwhile, Black Friday —a massive retail event that once signalled the start of holiday shopping for many consumers — is increasingly how many Canadians plan to close out their seasonal spending, the Deloitte survey found.
"We saw quite a big jump in terms of how many Canadians will complete their shopping by Black Friday," said Marty Weintraub, a partner and national retail consulting leader at Deloitte.
The poll found 26 per cent of respondents will finish their holiday shopping on Black Friday, up from 18 per cent last year.
"All the retail seasons over the past few years are getting earlier," Weintraub said. "The retail market is competitive."
The planned reduction in spending this year is unusual compared with conventional retail trends, he said.
"Canadians are telling us they're going to be reducing their spending, which is not typical," Weintraub said. "We've seen it typically increase year over year, except in 2020."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2022.
The Canadian Press