Holiday shopping kicks off early as Black Friday popularity rises
At GTA malls, Boxing Day now is only the second biggest deal-hunting date
It may seem like you just put away your Halloween costume, but more holiday deals have already been advertised across the country.
On Friday, shoppers will be setting their alarms and bundling up, hoping to snag Black Friday bargains.
If it feels like holiday decorations are making an appearance earlier each year, Louise Della Fortuna with Cadillac Fairview said you may be onto something.
"I would say I've seen it creep earlier and earlier, and I think that trend is going to continue," Della Fortuna said. "We've seen steady momentum since Nov. 1."
The momentum for Black Friday has been growing in recent years in Canada. Della Fortuna said at malls across the GTA it surpassed Boxing Day sales in 2016.
"The anticipation was always Boxing Day, and last year we saw it completely do a flip in traffic and we recorded one of the highest traffic days on record," she said.
Many holiday window displays at malls were unveiled right after Halloween.
"We are starting to see retailers get their window displays ready early."
Is it worth it?
In the last few years shoppers have waited in long lineups in hopes of getting deals on gifts.
Grayson Miller, vice-president at Style Democracy, said while there are some good deals, not all are worth losing sleep over.
"It's worth it if you're looking for big brand name electronics, or hard-to-find coveted items," Miller said. But if you're shopping for smaller gifts there will likely be better deals online or on Boxing Day.
"A lot of retailers are looking to finish the end of year strong, and Boxing Day is a good way to push extra sales before the end of the year."
Miller said the early push for Black Friday sales is also part of a retail strategy.
"Retail stores are looking to have people come back in stores and shop rather than just shop online."
'Some things happen quite early'
Retail adviser J.C. Williams Group said Black Friday is the big push to get shoppers into the holiday spirit. "Here are the things you need to be thinking about, here's potential gifts," said senior partner Maureen Atkinson.
She doesn't think holiday hours or deals are happening any earlier than usual, but there are some things retailers intentionally put out very early.
"The assumption is people need to buy things like decorations before the stores start decorating," Atkison said.
"So some things do appear in stores quite early, like in late September, early October."
Most malls in the GTA will open at 7 a.m. on Friday, and will remain open until 9:30 p.m. or later.