Which Provinces Will See A Decline in Holiday Spending?

Retailers must brace for potential losses as survey finds shoppers doling out 24% less on gifts than in 2011, but some provinces will be harder hit than others

Written by Kim Hart Macneill

This holiday season may be a little less jolly for retailers as Canadians plan to save more and spend less than they did last year, according to a new survey from TD Canada Trust.

On average, Canadians plan to spend $842 on gifts, food, decorations, entertainment and other holiday expenses, down about 24% from last year’s average of $1,100. British Columbians and Atlantic Canadians are the only two groups who plan to spend above the average, at $1,014 and $929 respectively. Quebecers will be the most frugal, spending only $756 this season, followed closely by Prairie residents at $767.

While 60% of Canadians say they’ll create a holiday budget to help keep their spending on track, 37% admit they’re likely to go over budget and spend more.

The majority of respondents, 37%, described themselves as money savers this year, planning to spend very little and only on what they need. Nearly as many, 35%, described themselves as budget makers who will plan and manage their spending. By contrast, 12% of respondents say they’re likely to break their budgets, 10% don’t plan to budget at all and 6% will take on debt during the holiday season.

When asked how they plan to save this holiday season, 78% of respondents said they will rely on store sales and discounts, 62% plan to research the best prices online and 39% will redeem reward points to reduce their holiday expenses.

TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct the online survey of 1,510 Canadians ages 18 or older from October 29 to 31.

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