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Boxing Day threatened by the Omicron variant



(Montreal) The Omicron variant threatens to slow retail sales on Boxing Day, as concerns over COVID-19 rise in step with the number of cases and health restrictions.

Experts believe that Black Friday, or Black Friday, had already passed December 26 as the most popular day for juicy consumer deals, but the trend now looks likely to accelerate further.

The Retail Council of Canada, whose annual holiday shopping survey in August found November 26 may be the biggest shopping event of the year, now says it will further eclipse Boxing Day after Omicron fears rose in early December.

Retail Council spokesperson Karl Littler said capacity restrictions in at least six provinces, including Ontario and Quebec, will have minimal impact on outlets accustomed to adapting to measures, but that consumer confidence could be undermined.

No capacity limits were in place for Black Friday, and both events are associated with long lines and crowded stores, which can put customers off.

We really saw that consumers were a lot more bullish this year than they were last year. And they really had a desire to go back to more normal types of traditions.

Michelle Wasylyshen, spokesperson for the Retail Council

“But it’s all kind of in the gutter right now. ”

Customers don’t have the same goals on Black Friday as they do on Boxing Day. Toys and clothing top the list on Black Friday, while electronics, appliances and furniture define December 26.

But these big-ticket items are also among the most affected by global supply chain issues, making them harder to obtain.

“Retailers don’t know when the product is going to arrive,” said Michelle Wasylyshen. Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday really stole some of the Boxing Day. ”

Best Buy Canada Retail Director Philip Thampy says Boxing Day remains key, and the Retail Board says while the best deals are often found in-store, shopping online will offer a tasty alternative to those looking to shop from the comfort of their sofa.

Although Black Friday has taken off in recent years, the Boxing Day is still one of the biggest store shopping events of the year.

“Boxing Day is always a very important day and week for us,” said Philip Thampy. Many consumers see Boxing Day as an electronics shopping opportunity. ”

Many people are given gift cards or cash for Christmas and are looking for Boxing Day sales to spend those amounts, he said.

Best Buy has made sure in advance that there is adequate inventory to meet Boxing Day demand, Thampy added.

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