Canadians to Spend More This Holiday Season

Canadians will spend an average of CA$1,593 for the 2019 holiday season, slightly up from CA$1,563 (or 1.9%) in 2018, according to PwC Canada’s Holiday Outlook report. In a report released today, PwC Canada conducted a survey of 1,302 consumers from coast to coast to find out their shopping plans for the upcoming holiday season.

Eight out of ten Canadians plan to spend the same or more this holiday season and they are likely to focus the majority of their spending on family ($869), followed by indulging themselves with a few gifts ($537), gifts for friends ($118), pets ($40), and others ($29). The report also shows a significant difference in the amount that men are planning on spending compared to women. Men are expected to spend $1,820 this year on gifts, travel, and entertainment, while women are expected to spend $1,384 on the same things.

Early November remains the most popular time to start Holiday shopping. In terms of getting the best deals, 38% of Canadians agree that Black Friday is the best time to get deals. Shoppers will shop with retailers they trust and have loyalty programs and where they can get a good deal.

“Retailers can expect a busy holiday season as Canadians continue to feel positive about the state of their personal finances,” says Myles Gooding, National Retail Leader, PwC Canada. “Canadians across the country and in different age groups will take advantage of deals offered in-store and online, creating a unique holiday shopping experience.”

Canadians are feeling generally positive about the economy and the state of their personal finances. According to the report, 25% of respondents are feeling better than last year about the state of their personal finances. Despite recent announcements about household debt-to-income ratio rising, more than 80% plan to use their credit card at some point during the holiday season. Only 17% (vs 19% in 2018) are concerned about credit card debt and 21% are not worried about it.

Canadians plan to spend 41% of their holiday shopping time online, up 4% from last year, but the bulk is still done in-store (59%). Breaking it down, 55% of millennials and 49% of Generation Z will shop online. Home delivery remains the most popular method of delivery with 56% of Canadians opting for convenience. Amazon Prime memberships in Canada are up 60% from last year, now in 37% of Canadian households.

While the USMCA ratification has yet to be finalized, Canadians are less concerned about trade issues this holiday season than last year. Cross-border shopping is set to increase 21% this year due to better prices and deals (66%), increased product range available (42%), or because the product/brand is not available locally (34%).

Click here to access the report.