Like the year 2020, the traditional post-Christmas sales day took place mainly online.
The usual frenzy of December 26, Boxing Day, when queues were rife in previous years, has instead given way to dead calm. With most stores in Quebec closed due to the pandemic, consumers cannot flock to stores looking for deals.
On Masson Street, in the Rosemont district, in Montreal, the commercial artery was almost deserted around 10 a.m. when the shops opened, while snow and wind were present.
It must be said that only a few places of business are authorized to welcome customers. The government of Quebec decreed, two weeks ago, that only essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, could remain open from December 25 to January 10 in all regions, regardless of the color of the area.
Telecommunications or electronic repair services may also continue to be in business.
The La Source boutique was still waiting for its first customers when The Canadian Press visited. The store is only allowed to sell essential tech products.
“Usually it’s busy. There is a queue. But since we opened, we have had zero customers. You are the first ”, indicates the manager, Hakim Ouchenir, who had to reduce his number of employees on the floor.
The few passers-by we met, including several small families with strollers, took advantage of this day off to take a breath of fresh air rather than chasing discounts.
“We did all our shopping before the holidays. We are now enjoying family time, ”says Maude Lemire.
For others, Boxing Day is far from being an expected event. “After 17 years in Canada, I have never done Boxing Day. I find that there are interesting offers throughout the year, ”says Chrystelle Deligeon, whose main purchase of the day was a baguette.
As every year, December 26 is also beneficial for the business of the Première Moisson bakery since many vacationers come to stock up on fresh products.
Before the opening, a line of customers had formed outside, says deputy director Pierre Lachaine. He still expects lower ridership this year. “Since the start of the pandemic, people have come less often, but they buy more. The cost of their basket is higher, ”describes Mr. Lachaine.