British Columbia

Back-to-school sales up as laptops make comeback in B.C.

Sales in B.C. are up seven per cent this year over last, says the Retail Council of Canada.

Sales in B.C. are up 7% this year over last, says the Retail Council of Canada

London Drugs says it is seeing a marked increase in laptop sales this back-to-school season. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

Back-to-school sales are up in B.C., possibly due to the falling value of the dollar and the newfound popularity of laptops.

At London Drugs laptops are the top sellers for the first time in years, according to executive vice-president Clint Mahlman.

"Over the last several years, there's been a heavy move to tablet purchases. What we're seeing is consumers, whether they be back-to-school or regular, purchasing laptop technology," he said.

Mahlman says stores in B.C. are selling more back-to-school supplies than other London Drugs locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Meanwhile, Mark Startup of the Retail Council of Canada says figures show British Columbia is leading the provinces in sales increases in 2015, with an average increase of seven per cent or higher.

"We have a number of factors working in our favour — both the consumer and the retailer," said Startup.

"We're not on tenterhooks knowing whether the teacher's strike is being settled... The weak Canadian dollar against the American dollar is a contributing factor."

Startup says B.C. retailers consider back-to-school shopping almost as important as Boxing Week and have making an effort to source goods that Canadians would not normally be able to find in Canada.

"There's more competition, the value is increasing," he said. "Canadians are staying at home, and shopping in Canada."

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