Majority of Canadians Plan to Open Their Wallets on Boxing

Majority of Canadians Plan to Open Their Wallets on Boxing Day in
- Alberta, Atlantic Canada and Ontario will see the most spending
activity on Boxing Day  
- According to BMO Economics, total retail sales, excluding auto and
gasoline sales, are expected to be almost $60 billion in November to
December period 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/18/12 -- Canada's biggest
shopping day is circled on the calendars of many Canadians, with the
majority of Canadians (62 per cent) planning to shop on Boxing Day
this year, according to a BMO poll released today.  
According to the BMO poll, conducted by Pollara: 

--  One-in-five (22 per cent) plan to shop for themselves, while another
    third (34 per cent) will spend on items for both themselves and others 
--  Alberta, Atlantic Canada and Ontario will see the most spending activity
    on Boxing Day (76 per cent, 72 per cent and 69 per cent respectively)
    while Quebec will see the least (36 per cent) 
--  Men are more likely than woman to take advantage of Boxing Day sales (66
    per cent versus 58 per cent respectively) 

Overall, Canadians plan to spend an average of $1,610 on the holidays
this year. 
Su McVey, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that while
Boxing Day is a great opportunity to take advantage of deeply
discounted items, not accounting for spending during this period can
cause some to spend outside of their means and keep them from staying
within their holiday budgeting parameters.  
"Boxing Day is treated by many as a shopping holiday in Canada, and
is as big as Black Friday in the U.S.," said Ms. McVey. "Given that
the majority of Canadians plan to spend during this period, it's
essential that Boxing Day spending is accounted for in the overall
household holiday spending budget and not treated as a financial
Ms. McVey added that three-in-ten (29 per cent) Canadians set a fixed
budget for their holiday spending, while half (47 per cent) set a
loose or flexible budget, and two-in-ten (21 per cent) do not set a
budget for holiday shopping. 
Boxing Day is an important period for Canadian retailers, as it
represents one of the biggest sales days on the calendar year. BMO
Economics projects Canadian holiday retail sales receipts, excluding
auto and gasoline sales, will be almost $60 billion. This represents
an increase of between one and two per cent year-over-year - or a
rise of between $600 million and $1.2 billion - during the November
to December sales period.  
"While the projections for year-over-year increases in holiday sales
are modest, it should still be viewed as positive for retailers in
Canada, and is certainly well above levels seen during the recent
economic downturn of 2008," said Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist,
BMO Capital Markets. 
To make the most of your Boxing Day spending dollars, BMO offers
Canadians the following tips: 
Have a game plan: Before venturing out into the crowds on Boxing Day,
create a list of must-haves items and set spending limits to ensure
you don't get swept away in a post-holiday shopping frenzy. 
Get a head start: Many retailers will begin the Boxing Day sales
period before December 26th. Keep an eye on your favourite retailers'
websites and in-store ads to ensure you don't miss out on early
discounts and promotions. 
Stay outside the fray by looking online: Many online retailers offer
discounts and free shipping during the Boxing Day period. However, as
with in-store promotions, inventories can dwindle quickly. Ensure
you've created online accounts or profiles with your favourite
retailers and watch the web to avoid missing out.  
Maximize your spending: Utilize rewards programs to get the most out
of your Boxing Day purchases. Use a debit or credit card affiliated
with a loyalty program to earn rewards for purchases at retailers.
The BMO AIR MILES bank account or BMO AIR MILES World credit card
allows you to accelerate rewards earnings and significantly enhance
the value of every dollar spent by allowing you to "double dip" -
essentially earning rewards twice on the same purchase when you use
your Collector Card along with one of these forms of payment at AIR
MILES Sponsor locations.  
The survey results cited in the 2012 BMO Holiday Spending Outlook
conducted by Pollara are compiled from a random sample of 1,000
Canadians 18 years of age and over between October 11 and October 16,
2012. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate
to +/- 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.  
About BMO Financial Group 
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $542 billion as at July 31, 2012, and more than
46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
Media Contacts:
Matt Duffin, Toronto
(416) 867-3996 
Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224 
Laurie Grant, Vancouver
(604) 665-7596 
Twitter: @BMOmedia
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