Winnipeg retailers gear up for Canadian Black Friday
Major malls hope to stop shoppers from heading south of the border for big deals
Shoppers south of the border are gearing up for one of the biggest shopping days of the year — and Winnipeggers are primed to follow suit.
Black Friday is one of the biggest and craziest shopping days of the year in the United States, and now, Winnipeg retailers are vying for a piece of the consumer pie.
A number of major retailers in the city, Polo Park, St. Vital Centre, Kildonan Place Shopping Centre and a ton of locally owned boutiques have announced blow-out sales to try and thwart the mass exodus of shoppers on their way to the U.S.
“I think it’s great! [It] saves you a trip down to the states and all the stuff you have to go through at the border,” said shopper Judy Pierce.
The American tradition always follows Thanksgiving in the country, but in Canada, it’s only a few years old.
Last year was the first time Polo Park offered Black Friday sales.
The mall’s general manager, Deborah Green, said the decision was a no-brainer.
“We’ve got Victoria Secret. We’ve got Banana Republic,” said Green. “They don’t need to go south of the border anymore. We realize there’s always these great deals in the states, so we said, ‘Let’s match those deals.’”
Last year, Green said traffic at the mall was up 60 per cent on Black Friday, driving overall sales for November up by 11 per cent.
Christine Meilleur of Chatters Hair Salon said the sale made a big difference last year.
“It was crazy in here. We almost did a whole week of sales in one day,” said Meilleur.
But not everyone is convinced Black Friday is a big deal.
“I like the Boxing Day tradition. [It’s] more Canadian I guess,” said Winnipeg shopper Brenda Jackman.