Canada Retail Holiday Survey

More frugal but eager to buy in-store, 90 percent of Canadian shoppers plan to visit shopping malls during the 2022 retail holiday season.

November 18, 2022
  • Heli Brecailo

This holiday season, Canadians intend to spend more time in shopping centres but prefer to browse and shop rather than to eat or drink. Interest in visiting physical stores remains high, although shoppers tend to research online first and expect a seamless offline and online experience. In-store pick-up is on the rise, putting curbside pickup at a disadvantage.

Inflation and rising interest rates are changing the retail outlook for this holiday season and 2023. Canadians plan to decrease their spending as they spend more on basics (mortgage payments, rent, groceries, gas, and utilities). Instead of giving friends and family what they want, more Canadians have chosen to save money as their top priority this year.

Spending budgets for this holiday are down 13 percent from last year – back to 2019 and 2020 levels. Nearly 80 percent of respondents reported that they plan to cut back on a particular item or category, with restaurants, bars, and food delivery topping that list.

Fewer shoppers are hesitant to shop in-person, resulting in more Canadians visiting shopping centres this year. Nevertheless, many shoppers continue to focus on health and avoid crowds.

Some key findings::
  • Ninety percent of Canadians to spend time in shopping centres
  • Shoppers are more interested in shopping than in eating or drinking at shopping centres
  • Shopping centres should offer seamless experience
  • Canadians will probably research online first
  • Shoppers going to physical retail like it’s 2019
  • Amazon and Walmart share top spot
  • Canadians are spending 13 percent less on gifts
  • Spending on holiday-related merchandise set to decrease by 13 percent
  • More Canadians choose saving money as top priority, leaving behind what friends and family want
  • One-third of Canadians plan to cut back spending on food services

We surveyed 982 shoppers in Canada from different provinces and territories, income levels, generations, and genders about their holiday-season shopping patterns. The survey was conducted from late October to mid-November of 2022 and asked single-answer, open-ended, and check-all-that-apply questions.

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