Canada

Black Friday discounts run deeper than usual as retailers deal with excess inventory and inflation-weary shoppers

High inflation has Canadians counting far more money this year than usual, making it harder for retailers to persuade them to spend more this holiday season than ever before.

Friday marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. US-style Black Friday sales are now well established in Canada.

Experts say there are more deals than usual, but they are also being made against the backdrop of more cost-conscious consumers than ever before.

“This is the year of discounts,” retail consultant Bruce Winder said in an interview. “Consumers this year are thrifty, stingy, and show that they won’t buy unless they’re on sale.”

a lot of surplus

Excess inventory levels are a big reason this year’s discounts are deeper than usual.

In the early days of the pandemic, retailers struggled with supply chain issues with empty shelves in many product categories. But Winder says the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction. Many retailers have had to move far more inventory than usual at this time of the year, so they are offering discounts much earlier than usual.

“We went from out of stock to overstock in some situations, but that bodes well for consumers,” said Winder.

Elliot Morris, EY Canada’s grocery and consumer goods leader, said retailers are in a tough spot. “As the economy slows, there is clearly an area of ​​inventory build-up at retailers,” he said. “If that inventory continues to be on the shelves past the rest of the holiday season, we will see further discounts.”

Retailers themselves are keenly aware that customers are more picky than ever this year and are pushing several new names to get into the Black Friday game.

Melissa Austria owns clothing store GotStyle in Toronto. This year, she plans to offer discounts during her Black Friday sale for price-sensitive consumers. (CBC)

Melissa Austria runs GotStyle, a unisex clothing store in Toronto. She doesn’t usually have all-out sales this time of year, but today her store is offering her 50% off suits and sports her jackets.

“We realize we need to bring in something a little more price-sensitive for our everyday casual customers who don’t normally shop here,” she told CBC News in an interview. Casual customers who don’t buy are definitely putting the brakes on a bit.”

Canadian Retail Council’s Michelle Wasylyshen said she was optimistic about the outlook for this year, but it’s clear that pricing will be the biggest consideration.

“I think everyone is worried about the slowing economy, but consumers still seem to be spending. They’re just spending more wisely.

Pradeepa Simonpillai told CBC News while shopping for Christmas gifts in Toronto. High inflation has made her more cost-conscious than ever, she says. (CBC)

On the streets of Toronto, shopper Pradeepa Simonpilai says he plans to spend less than usual this holiday season, even though he has small children to look after.

“I don’t buy anything unless it’s absolutely necessary,” she said. “This season we’re going to find really creative ways to spend less money.”

Another shopper, Amir Ali, says he plans to go shopping on Friday.

“We have to make decisions [but] I plan to prepare gifts for the children.”

Annie Titheridge is also planning to brave the crowds this year because she likes to touch and feel products before making a purchase, something she can’t do when shopping online.

“My husband and daughter think I’m crazy about going shopping on Black Friday,” said Titheridge, who drives north of Toronto from King City to the Yorkdale Shopping Center. . “But what if the deal is good and something pops up?”

Black Friday discounts run deeper than usual as retailers deal with excess inventory and inflation-weary shoppers

Source link Black Friday discounts run deeper than usual as retailers deal with excess inventory and inflation-weary shoppers

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