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Holiday Shopping - Canada - August 2015

"Holiday shopping represents the most lucrative time of year for retailers across all categories, much of it driven by Christmas. For the upcoming holidays, nine of 10 Canadians will be buying gifts."

This reports covers the following issues:

  • Canadians' enthusiasm for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is soft
  • Engaging the less affluent household or budget-minded consumer
  • An aging population implies new marketing strategies may be required

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Executive Summary

      • The issues
        • Canadians’ enthusiasm for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is soft
          • Figure 1: Approach to holiday shopping, June 2015
        • Engaging the less affluent household or budget-minded consumer
          • Figure 2: Shopped for Christmas, by household income, June 2015
        • An aging population implies new marketing strategies may be required
          • Figure 3: Occasions shopped for (purchased items for any holidays in 2014), by age, June 2015
        • The opportunities
          • Promoting gift cards: The most desired and most likely gift to be given
            • Figure 4: Categories desired and will purchase, June 2015
          • Elevating Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve as celebrations to prepare for
            • Figure 5: Occasions shopped for, June 2015
          • Making holiday shopping more accessible for the less affluent or budget-conscious consumer
            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards using coupons or discounts during holiday season (any agree), by household income, June 2015
          • Creating value through means other than discounts
            • What we think
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • The population is unevenly dispersed and ethnically diverse
                • An aging population implies shifts in marketing of holidays may be in order
                  • Spending habits will shift due to the economy
                    • A weak Canadian dollar impacts consumers and retailers
                      • Shopping opportunities are increasing and spreading across platforms
                      • Market Factors

                        • The population is unevenly dispersed and ethnically diverse
                          • Figure 7: Share of population of Canada, by territory/province, 2014
                        • Canada’s population is aging and will continue to do so in the coming years
                          • Figure 8: Population aged 65 years and over in Canada, historical and projected (% of total), 1971-2061
                        • Age is impacting labour force participation
                          • Figure 9: Canada’s unemployment rate, by gender, January 2008-January 2015
                        • Recent economic activities have negatively impacted consumer confidence
                          • Figure 10: Household disposable incomes and savings in Canada, by quarter, Q4 2008-Q4 2014
                        • Canadians are facing record high levels of household debt
                          • A weaker Canadian dollar will impact shopping both consumers and retailers
                            • Figure 11: Exchange rate (CAD>USD/GBP), January 2008-January 2015
                          • Shopping opportunities are abundant across platforms
                            • Figure 12: Total number of shopping centres in Canada, 2001-12
                            • Figure 13: Retail e-commerce sales in Canada (in billion US dollars), 2012-17
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Holiday advertising efforts typically go back to basics
                            • Canada’s retail landscape is changing
                              • Innovations will shape in-store and online shopping
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Holiday campaigns often go back to basic emotions and traditions
                                  • A focus on tradition: Coca-Cola
                                    • Make them laugh: Kate Spade
                                      • Holidays are about giving: WestJet
                                      • What’s Changing?

                                        • Canada’s retail landscape sees many upcoming changes
                                          • Hudson’s Bay Company will be going high end with Saks Fifth Avenue acquisition
                                            • La Maison Simons set for expansion across Canada
                                              • Holt Renfrew is in flux
                                                • Nordstrom has settled into Calgary and opened its second location in Ottawa
                                                  • Other international entrants on the way: Uniqlo and Bloomingdale’s
                                                    • More merchants will be going online
                                                      • Shopify
                                                        • Square Reader (Square Register App)
                                                        • What’s Next?

                                                            • The evolving role of store experiences
                                                              • Elevating the in-store experience: Eataly
                                                                • Online retailers open brick and mortar shops: Frank & Oak
                                                                  • Taking the experience outside the shop: Walmart
                                                                    • Online shopping gets more convenient
                                                                      • Taking the hassle out of shipping: Walmart
                                                                        • Pick-up services are becoming available: Penguin Pick-Up
                                                                          • Buy buttons on social media
                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                            • Holiday shopping primarily revolves around Christmas
                                                                              • Gift cards dominate as the most desired and most likely gift to be given
                                                                                • Canadians are divided in terms of when they start holiday shopping
                                                                                  • Regardless of the platform, consumers are open to suggestions
                                                                                    • Money-saving strategies will be weighed against choosing the “right” presents
                                                                                    • Holiday Shopping Occasions

                                                                                      • Canadians are engaged holiday/seasonal shoppers
                                                                                        • Figure 14: Occasions shopped for, June 2015
                                                                                      • Over four out of five Canadians shopped for Christmas
                                                                                        • Christmas for less affluent households may mean fewer gifts
                                                                                          • Figure 15: Shopped for Christmas, by household income, June 2015
                                                                                        • Income may be impacting Quebecers
                                                                                          • Families and immigrants are celebrating Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve
                                                                                            • Chinese New Year is an important shopping occasion for Chinese Canadians
                                                                                            • Giving and Receiving Gifts

                                                                                              • Gift cards and clothing and footwear top the list for desired gifts and planned purchases
                                                                                                • Figure 16: Categories desired and will purchase, June 2015
                                                                                              • Gift giving may be simplified with the popularity of gift cards
                                                                                                • Clothing and footwear retailers have an attentive audience with women under-55 and moms
                                                                                                  • Alcoholic beverages are of interest to men and the more affluent
                                                                                                    • Electronics see greater interest from men under 55, Millennial women and Chinese Canadians
                                                                                                      • Consumers will also celebrate by buying food, drinks and decorations
                                                                                                        • Big ticket items are of interest to under-55s
                                                                                                        • The 2015 Holiday Shopper Profile

                                                                                                          • Women and parents will be the primary shoppers for holiday gifts
                                                                                                            • Figure 17: Will purchase gifts (any) for others this holiday season, by gender, presence of children, and belonging to LGBT community, June 2015
                                                                                                          • Benefits aplenty for targeting LGBT shoppers
                                                                                                            • Targeting Chinese Canadians will be worthwhile for marketers during Chinese New Year
                                                                                                              • Holiday shoppers will be buying for others, but also for themselves
                                                                                                              • Approach to Holiday Shopping

                                                                                                                • Canadians are divided in terms of when they start holiday shopping
                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Approach to holiday shopping, June 2015
                                                                                                                • Women and older men are year-round shoppers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Agreement with “I try to avoid the crowds when doing my holiday shopping” (any agree), by age and gender, June 2015
                                                                                                                  • Millennials, men, Quebecers and parents of teens are more last minute
                                                                                                                    • Opportunities abound for Cyber Monday and Black Friday
                                                                                                                      • Leveraging technology to aid the in-store shopping experience
                                                                                                                      • Going Online for Holiday Shopping

                                                                                                                        • Four out of five holiday shoppers will be going online
                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Proportion of online shopping, June 2015
                                                                                                                        • The power of persuasion
                                                                                                                          • Figure 21: Agreement with the notion that online suggestions often lead to a purchase (any agree), by age, June 2015
                                                                                                                        • Free shipping is a determining factor
                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Preference for shopping from online retailers that offer free shipping (any agree), by age and gender, June 2015
                                                                                                                        • Options explored if no free shipping is available – a qualitative look
                                                                                                                        • Holiday Shopping In-store

                                                                                                                          • Shoppers will be primarily buying gifts in-store
                                                                                                                            • Figure 23: Proportion of online shopping, June 2015
                                                                                                                          • Holiday in-store displays will influence spontaneous purchases
                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Attitudes towards holiday in-store displays (any agree), by age and presence of children, June 2015
                                                                                                                          • The in-store experience still plays a large role
                                                                                                                            • The desire for customer care – A qualitative look
                                                                                                                              • Regardless of channel, retailers with the “hottest” items will be noticed – particularly among Millennial men, fathers and Chinese Canadians
                                                                                                                              • Budget versus Buying the Right Gift

                                                                                                                                • Holiday shoppers will balance choosing the “right” presents against budgetary constraints
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Attitudes towards holiday shopping (selected statements), June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Money-saving strategies will be employed
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Attitudes towards holiday shopping (selected statements), June 2015
                                                                                                                                • Shoppers are paying attention to ads and actively scouting for promotions
                                                                                                                                  • Actively seeking deals – A qualitative look
                                                                                                                                    • Consumers actively seeking deals calls for a multi-channel approach from retailers
                                                                                                                                      • Year-round shopping may be a strategy to ensure the right gifts are bought for recipients at a reasonable price
                                                                                                                                        • Value-adds can mean more than price cuts or discounts
                                                                                                                                        • Target Groups

                                                                                                                                          • Four target groups
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Target groups for holiday shopping, June 2015
                                                                                                                                          • Budget Focused Mothers (33%)
                                                                                                                                            • Holiday Shopping Enthusiasts (30%)
                                                                                                                                              • Big Ticket Purchasers (25%)
                                                                                                                                                • The Older Shopper (12%)
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                          Holiday Shopping - Canada - August 2015

                                                                                                                                                          £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)