Recent reports have predicted that holiday shopping was bound to experience a decline this year as Canadians have been reeling from the effects of the nation’s recession. And while spending on a decreased budget sounds like a sensible move for consumers all over the country, a release by The Canadian Press earlier today indicated that the opposite is true.
Says the report, “Canadian shoppers are opening their wallets a lot wider this year than last despite concerns over the economy.” Conducted by one of Synergy Merchant Services’ closest affiliates, Moneris Solutions Corp., the survey found that sales have been up significantly leading into the last shopping weekend before Christmas.
The survey by Moneris – the leading debit and credit card payment processor in Canada – tracks national sales for the final five weekends of the pre-holiday season. Previous news releases insisted that that sales would be down this year due to the country’s struggling economy. Especially with the loss of so many jobs, it was thought that so many Canadians would be unable to afford their regular gift-giving traditions.
According to today’s report, Moneris found that the in the first weekend of December, sales were up by 5% with department stores enjoying a 12.8% increase in sales, when compared to the same weekends of 2008. Also among the most successful industries were clothing stores which saw a 5.4% rise in sales as well as drugstores that experienced a 3.8% jump.
Last weekend, apparel retailers received a 11.4% spike in sales giving them an overall 6% increase from all of last year. Evidently, the Canadian economy is experiencing a long-awaited recovery as consumers are not only expressing their holiday spirit but acting upon their renewed confidence in the economy.
Said David Ades, Moneris’ senior vice-president, sales and marketing: “As the Canadian economy begins a trend toward recovery, the increase in pre-holiday spending is a clear indication of renewed consumer confidence…Canadians are clearly more optimistic about the future this year than they were during this time last year, and retailers are capitalizing on this by using creative marketing tactics to draw them in early and often.”
Interestingly, Moneris noticed that although credit card usage is seeing a resurgence with the recovering economy, debit cards are being used with greater frequency. Their survey monitored all merchant categories tallying both dollar values as well as transactions numbers made through their terminals all over Canada.