Bundled-up Boxing Day shoppers in Winnipeg line up early, enter calmly

Boxing Day might not draw the crowds it used to, but dedicated shoppers say they're in it for the experience.
Orville Williamson, left, and Alexander Talgoy say they wanted the experience of waking up very early to get in line. Williamson says he also doesn't have a credit card to make online purchases. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

You can shop online — or like some brave Winnipeggers on Boxing Day, you can put on your parka and line up in the cold at six in the morning.

Minh Tran was first in a line of about 150 people outside of the Best Buy in St. James. He waited for about an hour to get inside, and he dressed accordingly.

"Thick boots, extra warm jacket. Basically, I'm ready to just go tobogganing, if you want to put it that way."

Minh Tran, the first Boxing Day customer at the Best Buy on St. James, joked while waiting in line that he's dressed to go tobogganing. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Tran said this was his first time lining up for Boxing Day — and said he wanted the experience, along with a new laptop for his family. 

Shoppers were greeted by cheering employees and the sound of One Dance by Drake when the doors opened.

Many said this year's lineup was shorter than in the past.

Black Friday is now a more popular shopping day than Boxing Day across Canada, according to Moneris, one of Canada's largest debit and credit processors. Manitoba saw the largest jump in Black Friday shoppers this year of any province, the firm said.

But there's something unique about Boxing Day shopping, said Best Buy store manager Fahad Al-Ani.

"Black Friday has its own vibes, where customers are buying presents for Christmas. Boxing Day is still shopping for yourself," he said.

Wrestling for a TV

Friends Orville Williamson and Alexander Talgoy bundled up and waited 45 minutes to buy gifts for themselves.

"It's fun. It gets you out of the house. And I get to say I showed up at Best Buy and I had to wrestle for a TV," Talgoy said.

"I love the spirit and dedication," Williamson said. "I have never woken up at 4 a.m. before."

"We were thinking of getting a group Christmas carol [going] in the line, but nobody wanted to join," he added.

Williamson says along with the experience of getting out to the store, he also doesn't have a credit card to buy online.

Shopper Jada Budz said she has noticed stores have become less busy on Boxing Day, but still enjoys searching for deals in person.

"It's kind of nice just picking out exactly what you want and seeing it in person and knowing like what you're getting."

About the Author

Marina von Stackelberg is a CBC journalist based in Winnipeg. She previously worked for CBC in Halifax and Sudbury. Connect with her @CBCMarina or


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