Energy Rich Provinces Biggest Spenders This Holiday Season

Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador to spend 40% more than the national average

TORONTO, November 25, 2014 – Residents of Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador are feeling particularly jolly this holiday season, intending to spend $928 and $883 respectively on gifts compared to $651 nationally. Quebecers come in at the lowest level at $486, followed by British Columbia at $562.

The NPD Group’s 2014 Canadian Holiday Spending Survey, designed to understand Canadian consumers’ spending intentions for the holiday season, reveals that Canadians say the most lucrative holiday shopping event for retailers will be during Boxing Week. More than two-thirds of consumers indicated they plan to capitalize on post-Christmas deals compared 32 per cent of respondents who plan to flock to Black Friday sales. Although NPD research from holiday 2013 shows that Black Friday is becoming increasingly popular for those purchasing consumer technology. Last year there was only a 6 per cent difference between what Canadians spent on consumer technology in the two weeks before and after Black Friday and the two weeks surrounding Boxing Week.

As seen over the course of the last several years, e-commerce also continues to be a fast growth channel for retailers with 45 per cent of Canadians planning to shop online this season. That number jumps to almost 70 per cent among millennials between the age of 25 and 34.

“Not surprisingly, the spend peaks in regions where economic and employment growth have been particularly strong, but deals and discounts, as seen through the popularity of Boxing Week events and Black Friday, will always spark consumer activity regardless of geographic realities,” said Sandy Silva, retail analyst for The NPD Group. “However, it can’t be emphasized enough that long-term competitiveness and share of consumer wallet will come to those retailers who are putting serious investment and attention into e-commerce platforms and services.”

But even with the enhanced convenience of online shopping and improved shipping options, consumers remain hostage to the typical peak holiday shopping period. According to the annual survey, two thirds of consumers have not started their shopping by October and only three per cent claim to have wrapped everything up.

Findings by NPD Group indicate that spending on fashion and toys will top the most popular items this holiday season. Data suggested seven out of 10 consumers will buy women’s sweatshirts, sales up 17 per cent since 2013, and men’s pant sales up 14 per cent. Toys are on the shopping list of four out of 10 Canadian consumers. Further, technology remains a perennial hot commodity with streaming audio speakers up a massive 126 per cent over last year and video game consoles up a strong 75 per cent.

Finally, as one of the most active consumers of beauty products globally, high volume items include self-tanning products, which are up 24 per cent year-over-year and eyebrow make-up up 56 per cent.

“Certain categories will always be top sellers during the holidays, but we do often see changes within the category, such as the high growth of streaming audio speakers in technology. This is just another lesson for retailers to watch trends happening in the periphery of a market, such as the ubiquitous streaming applications, as they can have a significant impact on consumer demand,” said Silva.

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APEX Public Relations

The NPD Group, Inc.
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Port Washington, NY 11050

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