Black Friday sweeps the nation, really?

Poll suggests 47% of Canadians will be bargain hunting on Black Friday.

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(Photo: The Canadian Press/Pawel Dwulit)

(Photo: The Canadian Press/Pawel Dwulit)

A new poll for BMO suggests Black Friday is sweeping the nation with nearly half of Canadians (47%) expected to hunt for deals on Friday, Nov. 29—the day after American Thanksgiving. Black Friday, characterized by steep discounts on everything from electronics to shoes, is the single busiest shopping day of the year south of the border and the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season.

Black Friday has no doubt been gaining momentum in Canada in recent years as retailers on this side of the border have adopted the U.S. tradition, but the BMO forecast of a 15% surge is truly remarkable, especially considering the 9% Black Friday/Cyber Monday participation rate CIBC forecast in 2012.

Friday’s report suggests 16.4 million Canadians will be out bargain hunting on Black Friday, compared to the 97 million Americans (69.1%), expected by the National Retail Federation. What’s more, a number of media outlets misinterpreted BMO’s report with headlines suggesting 47% of Canadians would be physically crossing the border to shop U.S. Black Friday deals. Imagine the customs lineups!

Pollara surveyed a random sample of 1,215 Canadians 18 years of age and over between Oct. 11 and Oct. 16, 2013 for the 2013 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook and found Canadians are planning to spend an average of $292 on Black Friday sales overall—that’s on both sides of the border—with Atlantic Canadians expected to spend the most ($331).

In an effort to help tune out some the Black Friday noise, we’ve decided to conduct a poll of our own, albeit less scientific, to ask you MoneySense reader about your Black Friday plans.

Will you shop Black Friday sales this year?

  • No (39%, 57 Votes)
  • Yes, online (22%, 32 Votes)
  • Yes, in Canada (17%, 25 Votes)
  • Undecided (13%, 19 Votes)
  • Yes, in the U.S. (9%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 145

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