Montreal Boxing Day returns after two years – Montreal | The Canadian News

Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases, many shoppers were still out on Sunday upholding the old tradition of looking for a good deal.

It’s Montreal’s first day of boxing in two years, but with the city in the midst of a fifth wave, it wasn’t as busy as some had hoped.

Last year, Quebec made its second lockdown on December 26, canceling any purchasing plans that may have existed. This year, things were expected to be much better.

“Three weeks ago we expected a record day in boxing,” says Montreal Center Ville CEO Glenn Castanheira.

“We had seen a record one foot drop to the center and record sales. Everything was going great. Now, under the circumstances, it’s too early to tell, but we’re definitely not breaking any records, “he says.

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With the increase in COVID cases across the province, many shoppers chose to stay away from the large crowds. A buyer at Best Buy says he was disappointed in the smaller-than-expected crowd, but says he understands. “Prevention is better than cure,” he said.

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According to the Retail Council of Canada, a survey in October showed Canadians were more optimistic about the 2021 holiday shopping season.

In-store purchases were forecast to increase and online sales were expected to continue to be strong.

Sixty-three percent of total purchases were anticipated to be in store this year and 37 percent online.

The 2019 pre-pandemic statistics were very different, with 72 percent of total purchases planned to be in-store and 28 percent of online sales.

For boxing day specifically, Quebecers are less likely to buy compared to the rest of Canada. But fears about Omicron have likely skewed those numbers.

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Even shoppers who chose to go to a brick-and-mortar store admit that online shopping is becoming more attractive. There is also another hurdle for many retailers and buyers.

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“We already had a problem with a labor shortage before the fifth wave,” Castanheira said. “Now we are seeing a lot of breakouts, so a lot of retailers are unable to open.”

But despite all that, as of mid-Sunday afternoon, Saint-Catherine Street was still a hot spot, with many shoppers lined up outside the stores waiting for a deal. According to Castanheira, it is a very good sign.

“When we see people walking, many of them not even shopping just enjoying their day, it gives us hope.”

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