Black Friday deals hit northern Ontario
Retailers try to keep Canadians from shopping south of the border
The American shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday has come to northern Ontario this year, with big chains and small, locally-owned shops across the region staying open longer and offering special deals.
In Sudbury, about 100 people were lined up outside the new Target store, waiting for it to open at 7 a.m.
The first person in line was 68-year-old Ray Joly, who was there an hour before the doors opened to get a gift for his granddaughter.
Cody Burton and his brother Allan were the first people to leave the store, carrying a big-screen TV.
"Soon as the doors opened and they were past the workers, they just started running," said Cody Burton. "They were a lot more civil than the States, that's for sure."
The Station Mall in Sault Ste. Marie is holding its first Black Friday event after years of losing customers who cross the bridge into Michigan for bargains.
The mall’s Director of Property Management Maureen Webb says Black Friday is no longer about taking the day off to go shopping, but about shoppers getting their holiday gifts cheaply and quickly. That’s why the mall opened at 7 a.m. today, two-and-a-half hours earlier than usual.
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"That's driving a lot of this,” Webb said. “If you can give people the opportunity to come and do some power shopping, if you will, before they go to the office in the morning or after the office at night."
One business expert says adopting the Black Friday tradition allows Canadian retailers to keep dollars from going south of the border and from being spent online.
But overall, Laurentian University business strategy professor Jean-Charles Cachon doesn't believe Canadians will spend more this year because of homegrown Black Friday sales.
Instead, he suggests the phenomenon could mark the end of Canada's other holiday shopping tradition — Boxing Day.
"One could wonder if this is going to be transferred into or shifted earlier into this Black Friday phenomenon," Cachon said.