Black Friday shopping for Canadians

Thanks to the rising Canadian dollar and the convenience of online shopping, you don’t have to live in a border city to take advantage of the perennial Black Friday deals big-box retailers in the U.S. promote in attempts to kick off the Christmas shopping season.

With one-third of American consumers and 44% of Canadian consumers planning to cut back on holiday spending, retailers are changing their Black Friday strategies. Traditionally, most Black Friday discounts are based on loss-leader strategies, so the deals are announced two or three days in advance and last only one day. But with economic data pointing to uncertainty, retailers can’t afford to put all their faith in a one-day, in-store-only sale geared toward Americans. (About 13.6-million Americans are still carrying debt from last Christmas and the unemployment rate in the U.S. is 9.6%. In Canada, it’s 7.9%.)

Forrester Research predicts that online retail sales in the U.S. will grow 16% this holiday shopping season compared to last year. And with the cost of gas nearly $3 per gallon, why shouldn’t they? Even if customers get charged for shipping, online buying can still save money. Familiarity and trust with online shopping among Canadians is increasing as well. Statistics Canada’s most recent study on online shopping patterns reported that, in 2007, over 70-million orders were placed by some 8.4-million Canadians.

If you still want to pack up your car and take a trip South of the border, this year’s Black Friday is Nov. 26.

But before doing so, you should check out the work CanadianBusiness.com did for you. We found some fantastic deals for Canadians willing to shop online. Don’t wait too long. We can’t guarantee these deals will last forever.