Canada Black Friday, Cyber Monday weekend spending up

December 13
8:23 AM 2014

Deals on clothing and cameras helped spur Canadian shoppers to spend more during the most recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend than they did in 2013, according to a report by Canada's largest payments processor.

Black Friday spending increased by 5 percent while Cyber Monday sales grew 12 percent, credit and debit card processor, Moneris Solutions Corp reported on Friday. In contrast, sales in the United States were disappointing.

The growth rate in Canada has nonetheless slowed from 2013, based on Moneris' data. Last year, the company reported that spending had jumped more than 19 percent on Black Friday and more than 29 percent on Cyber Monday.

U.S. industry data showed total in-store Black Friday spending fell about 11 percent, hurt by earlier discounts and online sales, while Cyber Monday online sales grew by a smaller-than-expected 8 percent, as websites started their promotions earlier.

Canadian spending was likely helped by a sharp drop in gasoline prices and the Canadian dollar hitting its weakest level in 5-1/2 years against the U.S. dollar, said independent retail analyst Ed Strapagiel. That gave Canadians more pocket money and made cross-border shopping, both in-store and online, less attractive.

"It will probably pull sales away from December though, so I'm not sure if, at the end of the day, retailers are really ahead," said Strapagiel, who expects overall holiday sales to be only slightly better than last year. "But if your competitors are out there for Black Friday, you don't want to be left behind."

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