How did some of the most popular Canadian retail categories preform over the holiday season? The NPD Group takes a look in its 2017 holiday category recap.


The Canadian Toys industry capped of 2017 with a steady uptick in growth. For the last 6 weeks of the year (Nov.19-Dec. 30), the Canadian Toy industry grew +3 per cent. This pivotal 6 week period represents 34 per cent of toy sales for the total year.

The combined 2 weeks sales of Boxing Week and Cyber Monday (Nov 19-Dec 2) grew +3 per cent and the combined 2 weeks of Christmas and Boxing Week grew +5 per cent (Dec 17-30).

During this key holiday period, the top 3 gaining categories were “All Other Toys” (due in large part to Scientific and Fidget Cubes), Plush (Hatchimals) and Building Sets (LEGO, etc.).

The top holiday properties for the last 6 weeks of 2017 in dollar value were Star Wars, Paw Patrol and Nerf. Furthermore, the top 3 gaining properties were Hatchimals, LOL Surprise Dolls, and Cars the Movie.


The Canadian Small Appliance Industry also had a strong holiday season, with the last 6 weeks of the year (Nov 19 – Dec 30) up +12 per cent year over year. Multi-cookers were the primary driver of growth in the industry; multi-cooker unit volume was also greatest during this period, higher than that of Kettles or Toasters – normally the volume leaders. These 6 weeks also grew +1pt to 26 per cent share of overall annual sales, and there was dollar growth in each of the 6 weeks.

Furthermore, the week of Black Friday was the highest growth week of the Holiday season in the category, +23 per cent year over year in dollars. Also, Black Friday week was the top sales week this year (in 2017 it was #2 following the week just prior to Christmas).

The top 5 Holiday Subcategories in the small domestic appliance industry were Multi-Cookers, Stick Vacuums, Soda Machines, Robotic Vacuums, and Espresso Makers.


While spending during the 6-week holiday season in 2017 on consumer technology products showed modest growth of +1 per cent, the real story was around the continued shift away from Boxing Week and to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotional periods.  As an example, spending grew by +8 per cent year over year during the week of Black Friday and +6 per cent during the week of Cyber Monday, while Boxing Week sales declined by -2 per cent. Furthermore, during the three weeks leading into Christmas, sales declined by -4 per cent year over year. 

As a result of this shift, 2017 spending during the week of Black Friday, which was the most important week of the year for the industry in 2017, was +13 per cent higher than Boxing Week.  Likewise, the week of Cyber Monday was the third most important week of 2017 jumping ahead of the week leading into Christmas which held the number three position in 2016.

Televisions were the primary growth drivers for the industry during Black Friday and Cyber Monday along with Stereo Headphones and Wireless Speakers.   The television category has typically been the focus point of promotional activity during the holidays and that continued to be the case with the expanded offerings and lower prices especially with the 50 inch plus segment.  Black Friday/Cyber Monday started to gain momentum in Canada 5 years ago, and at that time most of the sales for Televisions tended to be at smaller screen sizes with a focus on gift giving, while the larger screen sizes tended to be the focal point at Boxing Week as a personal purchase item.  However, over the past two year there has been a strong shift to large screen sizes, as consumers are now looking at Black Friday/Cyber Monday as an opportunity to purchase for both gifting purposes and personal needs.

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Erick Bauer

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

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