Boxing Day begins with early rush of bargain hunters
Published Wednesday, December 26, 2007 6:39PM EST
The Boxing Day frenzy began before day break in Ontario as hundreds lined-up outside their favourite stores, anxious to get to the great deals.
One couple that waited outside a Toronto electronics store from 5 a.m. came out with a truckload of new purchases.
"Two TVs, a GPS and a bunch of stuff," the man told CTV Toronto while packing his car with his purchases.
At the shopping malls, parking lots were full and hallways were packed with bustling shoppers making their way from one store to the next.
"I got lots of clothing," one shopper told CTV Toronto. "If I tell you everything I bought, it might take awhile."
Most retailers say they are not accepting returns this entire week because of the crowds.
Customers who have returns should call the store to find out what their policy is before heading out.
An employee of clothing store American Eagle Outfitters said they try to always put their customers first.
"We do returns all throughout the year, especially on Boxing Day," said store manager Nicole Crowder. "We want to give our customers the best service possible."
Despite the mad shopping rush, a recent survey found that more consumers are opting to stay at home.
The ninth annual Visa Canada gift-giving survey found that 23 per cent of Canadians -- more than five million people -- say they plan to go shopping on Boxing Day.
That's 17 per cent less than the amount of people who planned to go shopping in 2006. It's also the lowest figure since 2002.
Nonetheless, those who do come out are expected to spend lots of cash. The survey predicted more than $1 billion will be spent on Boxing Day this year.
The average Canadian shopper will spend about $233. Last year's national average was 29 per cent more, at $328.
Out of all the shoppers across the country, Ontarians are expected to spend the most.
Electronics and clothes will likely be the most popular purchases of the day, the survey found.
The poll also found that women are less patient than men when it comes to waiting in long line-ups. Sixty-two per cent of men and 64 per cent of women said they wouldn't wait in line to get into a store.
However, one store is doing what it can to please customers looking to avoid the rush.
Over 177 Wal-Mart stores across Canada will remain open for 24 hours a day every day until Dec. 31.
Here is a list of what's open and closed on Boxing Day:
- Shopping malls, most until 8 p.m.
- Some drug stores
- Many convenience stores
- Movie theatres
- Most restaurants
- Gas stations
- Many grocery stores
- Government offices
- Beer and LCBO stores
- No mail delivery
Both the TTC and GO Transit will operate on a Saturday schedule.
With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness and Roger Petersen