TORONTO — It’s the day that hunters and store associates eagerly await: Black Friday.
The Christmas sales have been rolling out online and in stores for weeks, taking some steam off the official shopping event.
But experts say they expect the blockbuster one-day deals to lure consumers to stores in numbers not seen since pre-pandemic days.
Retail analyst Bruce Winder says big box stores like Best Buy and Walmart will see lineups while malls will be crowded.
He says the rising cost of living will intensify the hunt for Black Friday bargains, but customers are likely to “cherry pick” the sales.
Winder says stores offering sales up to 70 percent off will be busy, while retailers offering higher discounts won’t see the same amount of traffic.
“If you’re a retailer and you try to sell something at 25 or 30 percent off, it won’t sell,” he said.
Winder said some retailers will offer larger sales in stores than online as they try to reduce high inventory levels.
“There is some evidence that retailers with excess inventory in stores are looking to blow it out,” he said. “If the merchandise is already there and they’re short on space, they want to turn it into cash — especially if they don’t have the space to pack it up and store it for another year.”
Meanwhile, the Canada Border Services Agency has issued a notice to travelers planning to head south of the border for US Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The agency warned of potentially long waits at some intersections and encouraged commuters to cross outside rush hours in the early morning.
The CBSA also said travelers to the US looking for Black Friday deals should be aware of the size of their personal waivers and prepare to declare their cargo upon entry into Canada.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 25, 2022.