Black Friday statistics 2019

Canadians to spend $29.5 billion on sales days like Black Friday

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Canadian Thanksgiving may have passed weeks ago, but some of the biggest shopping events of the year are right around the corner – and Canadians are planning on making it a big one.

Finder’s recent survey of 1,200 Canadians reveals nearly nine in ten Canadians (87%) plan to score a deal during pre-Christmas sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With the average Canadian spending close to $1,000 ($974), this year’s end-of-year shopping is expected to contribute $29.5 billion to the economy.

What are we buying?

Canadians are most likely to shop for food and alcohol (76%), followed by clothes and shoes (65%), electronics and other gadgets (47%), toys (43%) and beauty and makeup (37%).

Rank Category Percentage of Canadians planning to shop these items
1 Food/Alcohol 76%
2 Clothes and shoes 65%
3 Electronics/gadgets 47%
4 Toys 43%
5 Beauty and makeup 37%
6 Travel 27%
7 Manchester and homewares 20%
8 White goods 16%
9 Furniture 13%

Where are we planning to spend the most?

People hunting for travel deals are expected to spend the most at $1,329 – which is coincidentally around the cost of an international return flight along with a few nights accommodation. People looking to purchase electronics plan to spend $311, foodies are expected to dish out roughly $250, and fashionistas are looking to spend $174 on clothes and accessories.

Category Average amount spent of those who shop for these items
Travel $1,329
Furniture $438
Electronics $311
Food & alcohol $247
Clothes and shoes $174
Toys $153
Homewares $126
White goods $113
Beauty $102

Who’s shopping?

Gender

Men are slightly more likely than women to say they’ll shop the sales. According to the survey, 90% of men say they’ll shop the end of year sales days, compared to 85% of women. They’re also expected to spend around $260 more than women, with men forking out $1,108 on average.

Generation

The younger you are, the more you’re set to spend this shopping season. Generation Z is expected to spend $2,000, while generation Y will spend around half that ($1,015), followed by generation X ($918), and baby boomers at a conservative $710.

One of the biggest differences between generational spending habits is in the clothing category. Generation Z is much more likely to spend on items like clothes and shoes than other generations, with almost four in five of those aged 18-23 saying they’ll purchase from this category compared to just under half (48%) of baby boomers.

Region

British Columbians are most likely to hit the sales, with a whopping 91% of people from this province saying they plan to shop the big pre-Christmas sales days.

However, it’s Quebecers who plan on spending the most. Those in Quebec are set to spend $1,332, followed by British Columbians ($1,006), and Ontarians ($960). Meanwhile those from Manitoba and Saskatechewon will spend the least at $460 and $693 respectively.

Who’s shopping?

Shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a great opportunity to bag a bargain but they can make consumers feel pressured to spend. Nearly one-fifth of Canadians, or 5.2 million people, say they regret a purchase made at the 2018 sales. Interestingly, almost all of those who said they regret a purchase from 2018 will still be shopping the sales this year. Some people never learn!

How much money are we wasting?

Last year the average price of these regretful purchases was around $244, which means Canadians wasted approximately $1.3 billion on end of year shopping sales.

Just as men are more likely than women to say they’ll shop the sales, they’re also more likely to regret their purchases, with around 19% of men making the mistake last year, compared to just 15% of women. The higher rate of men regretting their purchases may have something to do with the cost of those items, with items regretted by men costing about 31% more than those regretted by women.

Those from Saskatchewan are most likely to regret shopping, with 31% of Canadian adults from this province admitting to the mistake, compared to just 6% of folks from Nova Scotia, and just under 10% of those from Manitoba.

Generally, the provinces with the most people planning to shop this year have the highest shopping regret figures. For example, consumers in Saskatchewan spent an average of $508 on their regrettable items, versus just $50 in Nova Scotia and $125 in Manitoba.

Which country has the most Black Friday shoppers?

Black Friday is synonymous with hoards of Americans busting through the front doors of stores across the country. But as far as the Internet is concerned, the US is no longer the top spot for Black Friday shoppers.

Brazil is the country with the highest search interest in Black Friday, according to an analysis of historical search data from SEMrush. Interest in the shopping holiday peaked in November 2018, jumping 83% from the previous year, and remains at the same level as at October 2019.

The US doesn’t place silver either: that post is taken by France. France is also among the biggest climbers in terms of interest in the shopping period, with search volume jumping 306.76% between November 2017 and November 2018. Since 2018, interest in the retail holiday has grown a further 49.5% as at October 2019.

The US doesn’t even get the bronze on its own, sharing the podium with Germany. While France and the US had the same search volume in November 2018, it’s the difference in this year’s October search volume that separates the two. The US saw its search volume grow by 22.26% from November 2018 to October 2019, versus a 49.5% growth for France over the same period.

Interestingly, this is not the first time search volume in the US has hit peak levels. Interest was last this high back in November 2013. Since then, interest in Black Friday has waned.

On the other hand, interest in Black Friday from German shoppers is at an all-time high, with search volume increasing 49.59% between November 2018 and October 2019.

Canada ranked equal 8th overall for Black Friday search volume. Search volume has increased 22.29% from November last year to October 2019 and 173.4% since 2014.

Want to know how Canada stacks up? View the top 20 countries searching for Black Friday in our map below, or use the table in the tab to see where your country ended up:

It may come as no surprise that the most popular place to score a Black Friday deal is Walmart; the online retail giant is by far the most commonly searched retailer across the 20 countries we analyzed. In fact, people are 43.69% more likely to search for a Black Friday deal from Walmart than with the second most common retailer.

Amazon puts up a good fight, coming in as the second most popular retailer in the world to search for a Black Friday deal, with Best Buy coming in third.

10 most commonly searched retailers for Black Friday worldwide

Rank Retailer
1 Walmart
2 Amazon
3 Best Buy
4 Target
5 Media Markt
6 Kohl’s
7 Home Depot
8 GameStop
9 Lowe’s
10 Costco

Canada’s top three Black Friday retailers follow suit with the rest of the world — albeit switching order. Rather than Walmart, it’s Best Buy that tops the list in Canada. Walmart falls in second place, followed by Amazon.

10 most commonly searched retailers for Black Friday in Canada

Rank Retailer Black Friday deals
1 Best Buy Best Buy Black Friday Deals
2 Walmart Walmart Black Friday Deals
3 Amazon Amazon Black Friday Deals
4 Costco Costco Black Friday Deals
5 EB Games EB Games Black Friday deals
6 Canadian Tire All Black Friday deals
7 Hudson’s Bay The Bay Black Friday Deals
8 Sephora Sephora Black Friday Deals
9 Staples Staples Black Friday deals
10 Toys R Us Black Friday Best Sales

With retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Media Markt topping the list for the most popular places to score a Black Friday bargain, is it any wonder that tech and electronics is the number one type of deal people are searching for?

As far as generic terms go, people are most interested in finding discounted TVs, laptops and phones. Outside of tech products, general fashion and home improvement products are also popular.

Most popular Black Friday product categories in Canada

Canada toed the Black Friday line, with tech products topping the list, along with general retail and fashion.

Tech products topped the list in large part because people are most fervently searching for popular devices, including Nintendo, PlayStation and Apple.

Most popular products searched in Canada on Black Friday

Canada followed global trends, with the majority of high-volume Black Friday searches relating to tech products and brands. Specifically, the most popular tech products include the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Apple iPhone.

How has interest in Black Friday changed over time?

Interest in Black Friday has steadily increased for as long as the Internet has been around. Unfortunately, data from SEMrush doesn’t go back that far. Luckily, we have Google for that.

Looking at historical Google Trends data, which goes as far back as 2004, we can see online interest in the term itself peaked in November 2018.

How does this look in Canada?

One of the coolest parts about Google Trends is that you can get into the weeds of a topic to break down just where people were looking for Black Friday deals. In Canada, historically the top three provinces looking for Black Friday deals have been Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador (as of October 2019).

Which provinces are most interested in Black Friday sales?

There’s no time like the present and no one that knows the present (or past or quite possibly future for that matter) like the omnipotent Google. Below is what people are searching for right now for Black Friday 2019.

What’s the most popular search in Canada for Black Friday in 2019?

Want a closer look? This is what those results look like in Canada in 2019.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is one of the busiest retail holidays, falling on the Friday following Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday is 29 November 2019.

Black Friday past, present and future

Year Thanksgiving (Thursday) Black Friday
2014 November 27, 2014 November 28, 2014
2015 November 26, 2015 November 27, 2015
2016 November 24, 2016 November 25, 2016
2017 November 23, 2017 November 24, 2017
2018 November 22, 2018 November 23, 2018
2019 November 28, 2019 November 29, 2019
2020 November 26, 2020 November 27, 2020
2021 November 25, 2021 November 26, 2021
2022 November 24, 2022 November 25, 2022
2023 November 23, 2023 November 24, 2023
2024 November 28, 2024 November 29, 2024

How did it start? How much has it grown in popularity?

The Black Friday shopping event has its roots in Philadelphia, where police officers used it derogatorily to describe the chaotic shopping day that follows Thanksgiving, which was typically marred by crowds and shoplifters, according to History.com.

It wasn’t until the late 1980s that Black Friday found mainstream popularity as a day for the general public to find a good deal. While overall sales are up for Black Friday by and large, its popularity has dipped over the last few years, with retailers reporting drops in physical sales.

Online retailers are the big winners on Black Friday, resulting in the syphoning off of a subsequent sale day for online shopping called Cyber Monday, which happens the Monday following Black Friday.

Cyber Monday past, present and future

Year Black Friday Cyber Monday
2014 November 28, 2014 December 1, 2014
2015 November 27, 2015 November 30, 2015
2016 November 25, 2016 November 28, 2016
2017 November 24, 2017 November 27, 2017
2018 November 23, 2018 November 26, 2018
2019 November 29, 2019 December 2, 2019
2020 November 27, 2020 November 30, 2020
2021 November 26, 2021 November 29, 2021
2022 November 25, 2022 November 28, 2022
2023 November 24, 2023 November 27, 2023
2024 November 29, 2024 December 2, 2024

What are the other big shopping days?

  • Prime Day
  • Boxing Day
  • Singles’ Day

Methodology

Search data: We used SEMrush to identify the top 20 countries and historical trends. We used AHREFs to identify the current top 1,000 kws for each country in the top 20. Popular retailers, shopping categories and specific products were analysed in English. Throughout analysis assumptions were made about search intent. For example, search volume for ‘Media Markt’ was assumed to be for ‘Mediamarkt’.

Survey data: Survey results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,200 Canadian adults, commissioned by Finder and conducted by PureProfile in November 2019. Northwest Territories, Nanavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon were not included in the analysis due to not having enough respondents.

For media inquiries:

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Susannah Binsted
Public Relations Manager
susannah.binsted@finder.com
/in/susannah-binsted/

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Madeleine Gracie
Communications and Campaign Specialist
madeleine.gracie@finder.com
/in/madeleine-gracie/

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