Businesses get ready for Black Friday sales

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Black Friday is right around the corner, and businesses across St. Albert are gearing up to celebrate it.

From fitness membership discounts to price drops on clothing, businesses are lowering their ticket prices for the popular U.S. tradition.

Jennifer McCurdy, president of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce, said Black Friday is a growing trend in the city.

“It’s been growing each year. When a store advertises Black Friday specials, it gets people into the store,” she says. “I think the day is great for the economy and it’s great to get people thinking about Christmas early.”

Black Friday follows U.S. Thanksgiving Thursday, when retailers bring out large sales to draw out large crowds. The day symbolizes the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Since the 1980s, the popular tradition has morphed into a significant shopping day. The tradition has grown so massive that it’s jumped the border and has started to take root in Canada.

In 2015 Statistics Canada reported a spike in sales across the country. In November electronics sales went up by 2.1 per cent and clothing and accessories increased by 2.2 per cent from the previous year.

Last year yielded slightly different results. Statistics Canada reported an increase in sales by 0.2 per cent from the previous month, for a total of $45.2 billion in November.

The gains were mostly attributed to motor vehicle and parts dealers and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, retail sectors not typically associated with Black Friday.

Statistics Canada also noted mixed results from sales connected to last year’s Black Friday.

Sales from electronics and appliance stores rose by 1 per cent, while sales at sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores were down 3 per cent, declining for the first time in three months.

Clothing stores saw an increase by 0.1 per cent, jewelry and luggage and leather goods stores saw an increase of 0.2 per cent in sales, but both were offset by lower sales in shoe stores, which dropped by 1.9 per cent.

E-commerce in Canada saw a massive spike in sales, thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In November retail e-commerce sales reached $1.4 billion, which accounted for 3 per cent of total retail sales in Canada for that month.

According to a survey conducted by savings website RetailMeNot.ca, shoppers will spend about $1,400 per person this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. $653 will be put towards buying gifts alone.

Around $384 of the $1,400 will be spent on holiday entertaining, such as food, alcohol and décor.

The site surveyed 1,509 randomly selected Canadians and took place from Oct. 27 to Oct. 28 this year.

McCurdy says businesses in downtown St. Albert plan on having Black Friday sales during the Snowflake Festival, which is taking place on Friday in the Perron District.

Black Friday takes place on Nov. 24 and Cyber Monday takes place on Nov. 27, although some stores will extend their sales.

 

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Dayla Lahring

Dayla Lahring joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2017. She writes about business, health, general news and features. She also contributes photographs.