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Albertans expected to spend on Black Friday, despite money troubles

Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm MST

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Black Friday has long been a day for blowout sales and massive crowds of eager shoppers in the U.S., but in recent years, it’s become a big money train for Canadian retailers too.

Even economically-hurting Albertans are expected to take advantage of low prices this week.

Rob Cameron, Chief Product Officer for Moneris, says last year, sales in Alberta were up 14 per cent on the day after American Thanksgiving.

“And it was actually the largest year over year growth in the entire country. We think that Albertans were strategic last year, that the retailers knew that in the tough economic times, they had to put sales in front of people to get them out,” he said.

And it worked.

He says, consumer spending may be a bit more modest this year than in 2015, but Albertans are still expected to open their wallets.

“We think people will still want to buy things, and it’s a great time to get a deal.”

While we may not see the same frenzied crowds as they do down south, most of us are still prefer to shop in person.

“The gains are slightly larger online but overall, most of our spending still occurs in stores,” Cameron said. “About 90 per cent of what you and I spend in Canada occurs in stores still.”

Cameron said when it comes to the country as a whole, last year’s Black Friday was 25 per cent busier, in terms of volume, than Canada’s traditionally busy sales day on December 26.

“So, it’s definitely taken the title over Boxing Day.”