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More than two-thirds of residents say the deals are “not that great”, but those aged 18-to-34 are more likely to make purchases this Friday.

Vancouver, BC – While most residents of British Columbia and Alberta are not planning to take part in Black Friday sales in stores, about a third would rather go online to see if they can find good deals, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of representative provincial samples shows that 34% of British Columbians and 30% of Albertans prefer to shop online on Black Friday to avoid the crowds. Similarly, more than three-in-five Western Canadians (67% in BC and 63% in AB) acknowledge that they avoid stores on Black Friday because it’s just too busy.

About one-in-five Western Canadians (21% in British Columbia and 19% in Alberta) took part in Black Friday sales last year, with roughly the same proportions buying items in a store (10% in BC, 11% in AB) or online (13% in BC, 11% in AB). Black Friday was particularly popular in 2014 among Western Canadians aged 18-to-34 (34% in BC and 27% in AB).

Many residents are holding on to bad memories from their past Black Friday experiences. More than two-thirds (68% in BC and 70% in AB) say Black Friday is mostly hype, and that the deals are not that great. However, 53% of British Columbians and 46% of Albertans are happy that Canadian stores are adopting Black Friday sales.


“There is certainly a sense of disappointment from shoppers who expected to have a better Black Friday experience in years past,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “However, young shoppers are definitely keen on taking advantage of the sales they may be able to find, either in a store or online.”

A tiny proportion of Western Canadians (6% in BC and 7% in AB) take time off work to make the most of Black Friday sales, and 12% in both provinces admit to spending more than they intend to on Black Friday. Some residents are already thinking about December, with about one-in-seven (15% in BC and 14% in AB) claiming they do not start their holiday shopping until Black Friday.

When asked about their Black Friday plans for this year, one-in-four British Columbians (24%) and one-in-five Albertans (20%) say they will participate in the sales. Canadians stores will welcome the bulk of shoppers (27% in BC, 25% in AB), followed by Canadian online retailers (20% in BC, 21% in AB), U.S. online retailers (11% in BC, 7% in AB), and U.S. stores (6% in both BC and AB).

Among Black Friday shoppers, the most popular items to acquire this year are:

–    Christmas and holiday gifts (53% in BC, 56% in AB)
–    Apparel (42% in BC, 43% in AB)
–    Electronics and computers (42% in BC, 35% in AB)
–    Multimedia (29% in BC, 33% in AB)
–    Toys (24% in BC, 31% in AB)
–    Beauty and personal care products (22% in BC, 26% in AB)
–    Home furnishings (18% in BC, 20% in AB)
–    Sports and camping equipment (14% in BC, 13% in AB)
–    Automotive (6% in BC, 8% in AB)

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 9 to November 14, 2015, among 812 adult British Columbians, and an online study conducted from November 6 to November 10, 2015, among 619 adult Albertans. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points for British Columbia and +/- 3.9 percentage points for Alberta. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations for British Columbia and Alberta.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Roland Tanglao