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BMO Report: Black Friday Shopping Set to Climb By 15 per cent

- Black Friday shopping among Canadians approaching Boxing Day's popularity

- Canadians planning to spend an average of $292 on Black Friday sales, with Atlantic Canadians expected to spend the most

- BMO Economics forecasts an increase of nearly two per cent in holiday retail sales



TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 22, 2013) - The busiest shopping season is upon us and according to the 2013 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook, Canadian shoppers are increasingly circling Black Friday on their holiday calendars.

According to the report, nearly half of Canadian consumers are planning to shop this Black Friday, up 15 per cent from 2012. Black Friday, the day following American Thanksgiving, traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season for consumers south of the border.

The survey, conducted by Pollara, found:

  • Nearly half (47 per cent) plan to shop on Black Friday this year, up from 41 per cent in 2012. This approaches Boxing Day's popularity; 59 per cent are planning to shop on December 26 this year, down from 62 per cent in 2012
  • Those planning to make purchases on Black Friday this year expect to spend an average of $292
  • Additionally, Black Friday shoppers are twice as likely to make purchases exclusively for others rather than for themselves (15 per cent versus 7 per cent respectively)
  • Atlantic Canadians are expected to spend the most on Black Friday ($331), followed by Albertans and Ontarians ($330 and $319, respectively).

"Canadian retailers are rising to the challenge of the lure of cross-border shopping, as they look to deal with the Canadian dollar still not far from parity, a significant – although narrowing – gap between Canadian and U.S. retail prices and the more generous duty-free limits," said Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Canadian holiday retail sales receipts, excluding auto and gasoline sales, should increase by roughly 2 per cent, year over year, in the November to December period."

According to the report, the use of rewards for holiday shopping is up by 32 per cent in 2013 compared to last year. Nick Mastromarco, Managing Director, Credit Card products at BMO Bank of Montreal noted that loyalty reward programs provide a practical and convenient way for Canadians to take advantage of a broad array of redemption options and also offer a higher return on spending. For example, customers with the BMO World Elite MasterCard or the BMO AIR MILES World MasterCard can redeem points for valuable merchandise and gift cards from a variety of major brands and retailers.

"With the recent popularity of Black Friday in Canada, it appears we have added another major shopping day to the calendar," added Mr. Mastromarco. "Using rewards to increase your spending power is a great way for Canadians to off-set their expenses for gift purchases, entertainment and travel this holiday season."

In addition, Canadians looking for a convenient way to shop south of the border or buy online from U.S. retailers can benefit from the BMO U.S. Dollar MasterCard, which offers the same features, convenience, security and acceptance as a Canadian dollar credit card, with the added benefit that savings won't be lost to a fluctuating currency exchange rate and other transaction fees.

Regional Findings

Black Friday Shopping Overall Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies Alberta B.C.
% Planning to Shop 47% 47% 35% 55% 36% 50% 45%
Expected Average Spend $292 $331 $229 $319 $293 $330 $231

The survey results cited in the 2013 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook conducted by Pollara are compiled from a random sample of 1,215 Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 11 and October 16, 2013. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 2.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization. With total assets of $549 billion as at July 31, 2013, and more than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

Media Contacts:
Russell Baker, Toronto
(416) 867-3996
russell.baker@bmo.com

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224
valerie.doucet@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com

Internet: www.bmo.com
Twitter: @BMOmedia