Stores in the U.S. are getting a jump on the shopping tradition of Black Friday this year by offering bargains starting on Thursday night, but some Canadian businesses are planning to get a piece of the action by offering their own deals.
Black Friday, the day after U.S. Thanksgiving Thursday, is so named because it’s said that’s when retailers go into the black and start making money for the year, hopefully raking it in all the way to Christmas.
Some major retailers, including Walmart and Toys-R-Us are planning to open to eager shoppers Thursday night.
Die-hard consumers are already camping out in front of stores, just across the U.S. border.
The demand by Canadian shoppers has prompted the bus company Quick Shuttle to offer a roundtrip fare of $29 from Vancouver to premium U.S. shopping outlets near Seattle.
"It seems like there is more of a hype around it this year. Our bookings are running 30- to 40-per-cent higher than last year," said Barry Keys, president of Quick Coach.
Electronic gadgets are traditionally hot sellers on Black Friday and at least one Canadian retailer says it’s ready to compete to keep shoppers on this side of the border.
"We're actually opening all our stores for the first time ever at 8 o’clock a.m. countrywide," said Elliott Chun, communications manager for Future Shop in the Vancouver area. "There's even some stores out east that are opening up 6 o clock a.m."
To further pose a challenge to U.S. retailers, major companies like Future Shop and Best Buy will be revealing their Black Friday prices on Wednesday.