Nearly two-thirds of Canadians polled plan to take advantage of Boxing Day sales, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Bank of Montreal.
The most frenzied activity is expected to be in Alberta, where 76% of those polled expect to shop. Atlantic Canada will be busy too, even though stores remain closed in many communities: 72% of respondents said they would go bargain-hunting. In Quebec, where stores typically don't open until 1 p.m. on Dec. 26, just 36% of respondents said they plan to shop on Boxing Day.
The poll found a third of shoppers (34%) plan to buy items for both themselves and others, while 22% will be looking for deals on things they want for themselves.
Men are more likely than women to brave the Boxing Day sales, the bank said -- 66% versus 58%.
BMO Economics estimates total retail sales for the November-December sales period (excluding cars and gasoline) will be almost $60 billion -- an increase of 1-2% , or between $600 million and $1.2 billion, year-over-year.
While that's a "modest" rise, deputy chief economist Doug Porter said, "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."
The survey conducted by Pollara polled a random sample of 1,000 Canadians 18 years of age and older between October 11 and October 16, and has a margin of error of 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.