TORONTO, ON–With the COVID-19 pandemic now in the feared second wave Canadians are increasingly likely to shop more from home than in the store. A recent JLL study, 2020 Retail Holiday Survey – Canada, shows Canadians are more selective about going to physical stores. And as a result, 37 percent are planning to shop more online, due to the pandemic.
Young shoppers (aged between 18 and 24) are leading the trend, with more than half of respondents expressing a preference for online shopping, as opposed to only 29 percent of the older generations (above age 55). Further, 16 percent of respondents say they will shop earlier, helping to reduce crowds in stores and alleviate strain on the postal system.
There are regional differences. In Eastern Canada, 29 percent of respondents confirmed they won’t change their shopping habits and will continue to shop as usual. The “Atlantic bubble” has demonstrated the lowest infection rates between Canada and the U.S.
But Canadians still love a good deal, and that hasn’t changed. Once again, Canadians’ top priority for shopping is saving money, according to 29 percent of respondents, across most generations. However, this year, getting friends and family what they want became the second most important factor, even over avoiding the hassle and crowds, which also increased in priority.
Black Friday remains Canada’s favourite deal day. This year, 29 percent plan to shop the most on the season’s first deal day, a 5 percent increase from last year. Interest in Cyber Monday and Boxing Day has decreased. Fewer Canadians plan to start shopping later this year and the percentage of respondents that plan to start shopping between Cyber Monday and Christmas Day dropped from 33 to 31 percent.
The amount Canadians plan to spend on gifts this year is consistent with last year’s report, an average amount of $428. Boomers reported the highest budget for gifts at $519 and Gen Z the lowest at $259. But more shoppers also reported that they plan to spend over $1,000.
So which retailer are Canadians preferring? While the four most popular retailers in Canada remain Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Hudson’s Bay, this time far more shoppers have spontaneously mentioned Amazon: 38 percent against 22 percent last year. This surge has taken Amazon to the top position by a wide margin.
“We have seen an undeniable turn to online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tim Sanderson, executive vice president, retail at JLL Canada. “That said, the pandemic has also accelerated many retailers’ omnichannel strategies. Shoppers are taking advantage of a variety of shopping combinations, many of which involve the physical store. Physical retail will continue to be strong with curbside pickup on the rise.”