TORONTO, Ontario — While Canadians still have over 100 shopping days left before the holidays get into full swing, retailers across the country got a head start on what they expect to be a busier holiday season compared to 2016.
According to a new Canadian retail survey conducted by Purolator and Leger, Canadians will be generous gift-givers this year as the majority of retailers (80 percent) anticipate an increase in sales as they enter the busy shopping season.
“Canadian retailers are heading into this year’s holidays with optimism and confidence,” said Ramsey Mansour, Purolator’s vice-president of corporate strategy and marketing. “Even with a more dynamic and competitive market, retailers expect an increase in sales, largely due to e-commerce and the anticipated strength of in-store sales.”
September is the busiest month for holiday planning
As many people headed to the beach this summer, retailers were working hard to prepare for the festive season. In fact, 43 percent of retailers started their holiday planning in July, August and September. September marks the busiest month for holiday preparations with 21 percent of respondents expecting to start this month.
Retailers say they are planning early to keep up with rising demand from customers (93 percent) and to ensure shipments arrive on time (91 percent). Almost nine in 10 retailers (89 percent) say e-commerce has created new customer buying patterns, resulting in early holiday planning.
“Online shopping has changed the way retailers prepare for the holidays,” said Ramsey Mansour. “Businesses are adjusting and adapting their inventory and distribution plans to keep up with consumer demand. With this in mind, Purolator began planning with retailers earlier than ever.”
E-commerce leading to increased holiday sales; in-store sales still critical for growth
Retailers expect the rise in online shopping will lead to increased sales this year (75 percent). Along with e-commerce, in-store sales will continue to play a key role this season. Among retailers expecting an increase, four out of 10 (38 percent) believe e-commerce and in-store purchases will equally drive sales.
Overall the survey is indicative of how retailers and their transportation partners are working together to plan for the growth in volume anticipated this holiday season, ensuring an optimal customer experience.