Alberta retailers hope Black Friday will kick off shopping rush
Privacy commissioner issues warning to holiday shoppers
Albertans traditionally lead the rest of Canada when it comes to retail sales, so experts say shoppers in the province are more likely to embrace the Black Friday concept as it spills over the U.S. border.
Online shopping is pushing Nov. 28 discounts into global markets and Canadian retailers are eager to get a jump on Christmas sales, said Debi Andrus, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business.
“In Alberta, we're leading everybody — as we have for a number of years — and the forecasters are looking for Alberta to lead the country in sales, particularly high-end sales,” she said.
The Alberta government issued a warning Thursday to holiday shoppers to be cautious of their privacy when shopping online or buying digital devices.
“Digital technology devices are often at the top of gift lists but beware that many new devices track your movements, so find out how your personal information is collected, used, stored or shared,” privacy commissioner Jill Clayton wrote in a press release.
Shop local, urges Calgary businesses
Friday is also kicking off the Christmas rush in Inglewood, one of Calgary’s oldest brick and mortar shopping districts.
Veronica Murphy, who operates a knitting store called Stash Lounge, is ready for Christmas shoppers.
"People really want to get their craft on and they start nesting and making lovely homemade items for Christmas."
Solita Work sells products made with recycled materials from her shop in Inglewood. She says December sales impact the whole year.
"It's massive. I probably do 25 per cent of my sales for the year in December alone."
She doesn't feel her sales are threatened by Black Friday, but urges Calgarians to shop locally so money stays in the community.
Alberta privacy commissioner's tips
- Only use secure websites with “https” preceding the address.
- Contact retailer immediately if you don’t receive an email confirming purchase.
- Use a low-limit credit card for online purchases that has an assurance of coverage for any losses due to fraud.
- Keep electronic devices up-to-date to protect against malicious software.
- Use various complex passwords and change them every so often when shopping online.
- Use a secured home network, not a public or shared network, when shopping or paying bills online.
- Beware of any "phishing" emails asking for personal information.
- Don’t click on links or reply to text messages if you don’t know or trust the source.