Christmas Day had not quite ended as the first brave souls began camping outside the Eaton Centre hoping to score Boxing Day deals on what's expected to be the biggest shopping day in Canada.
- Canadian shoppers cash in on Boxing Day bargains, online and in stores
- Black Friday barely shifts Canadian shopping habits
Although Black Friday rings up more purchases south of the border, the brand director at RedFlagDeals.com told CBC News that Canadians still turn out in greater numbers for Boxing Day looking to spend the gift certificates and holiday money they found under the tree.
"I think it's sort of that hunter, the person who wants to get … that doorcrasher, the one of 50 TVs available," Jeff Novak said. "It's the combination of the adventure and the feeling that you won something."
While Black Friday may be catching on here slowly, Statistics Canada found that between 2006 and 2014 November retail sales moved up only a fraction — to 8.5 per cent from 8.4 per cent.
But Canadians expect the biggest sales to happen on Boxing Day or throughout the so-called Boxing Week, according to the statistics released in November.
Novak argues that there's something quintessentially Canadian about Dec. 26, especially on those years in which people stand for hours, bundled in parkas and braving the cold to get a good deal.
And then there are those who just missed out an incredible buy before Christmas — and are determined not to lose out a second time.
That's what motivated the Toronto shopper who got the first spot in front of the Bay and Dundas street Best Buy just before midnight with his eye on 110-centimetre television.
"I just missed it online by a couple of minutes," he said, shuffling to get some feeling back into his legs. "The payment got stuck."
Others joined the line throughout the wee hours, some holding hot chocolate, coffee and blankets to keep them going.
However, the number of people doing their Boxing Day shopping in physical stores seems to be dropping thanks to the growing number of specials being offered online, Novak said.
"People don't have to come out … they can stay in their pajamas all day and still get all their Boxing Day deals."
Nevertheless, there are those for whom Boxing Day shopping is as much a part of the holiday as unwrapping presents, a Waterloo, Ont., woman told CBC News.
"We do this every year," she said. "We get some money in our stocking, because sometimes it's hard for my parents [to know] what to get us … so then we come out and get all our gifts."