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Businesses Buzzing About Holiday Sales

As of late, we have been doing some blogging about the upcoming holiday season and the already-started holiday shopping season. For consumers, it’s important to not only budget properly and seek out deals but to also keep your receipts and know about return policies. Even in the post-recession era, it’s expected that shopping malls will remain filled over the next month.

In yesterday’s edition of The Toronto Star, Dana Flavelle reported that Canadian retailers are anticipating a strong holiday sales season. A recent report from Statistics Canada revealed that retail sales have continued to rise over the course of 2010. Thus far, year over year sales are up by 3 per cent.

As a result, store owners are keeping optimistic about their impending sales numbers. Undoubtedly, consumers will be cramming into crowded shopping malls to get their hands on as many good deals as possible before Christmas and the new year comes. This is music to the ears of many a business owner, no doubt.

Elizabeth Evans, the director of the Ted Rogers School of Retail Management at Ryerson University agrees. “Most retailers are heading into the holiday season cautiously optimistic,” she said, “It’ll be a solid season. I don’t think anyone expects it to be spectacular. Consumers are still very value conscious.”

The boost in sales across Canada was provided in part by the beginning of both the hockey season and the return of students to school in September. This was evidenced by the fact that sporting goods and clothing experienced the largest increases in sales during that time of the year.

Benjamin Reitzes, who is an economist with BMO Capital Markets, believes that Canadian consumers are continuing to gain confidence in the post-recession era. Thankfully, the growing economy in Canada is helping for shoppers to shop with caution, instead of not shopping altogether.

Said Reitzes: “It looks as though all the talk about over-indebted households hasn’t kept consumers away from the stores. While the Canadian economy has cooled from earlier this year, the still-decent employment backdrop, higher stock prices and low interest rates are again driving sales higher.”

Statistics Canada notes that retail sales were up in seven of Canada’s ten provinces in September. The province showing the largest increase was Quebec. Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador experienced the largest decline in sales throughout the country.

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