Greenhouse Canada

Majority of Canadians make impulse buys

October 1, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Oct. 1, 2012, Toronto — Many Canadians are indulging in retail therapy,
splurging on impulse purchases meant to cheer them up, according to a
new BMO report.

The inaugural BMO Psychology of Spending report on the spending
habits of Canadians found the majority (59 per cent) makes impulse
purchases, with half (52 per cent) regretting the purchases after the
fact. Forty-three per cent sometimes spend more in a month than they

The survey, conducted by Pollara, also revealed:

  • The
    majority of Canadians at least sometimes shop to cheer themselves up
    and buy something they may not need because it's on sale (60 per cent
    and 55 per cent, respectively). Forty-two per cent buy items they never
  • On average, Canadians spend $310 a month on items they want
    but do not need, and believe they could save over two-thirds of this
    amount if they made an effort to limit their spending.
  • The most
    common impulsive purchases made over the past year are clothing (57 per
    cent), dining out (52 per cent), shoes (39 per cent), books/magazines
    (38 per cent), and music/movies (31 per cent).
  • One in five Canadians (19 per cent) have purchased consumer technology items on impulse in the past year.

average, men spend twice as much as women on “wants” ($414 vs. $207).
The top five impulse purchases reported by men are dining out (53 per
cent), clothing (47 per cent), books/magazines (32 per cent), shoes (29
per cent) and software/apps (26 per cent); the top five for women are
clothing (66 per cent), dining out (50 per cent), shoes (48 per cent),
books/magazines (44 per cent) and makeup (36 per cent).

survey results are from online interviews with a random sample of 1,000
Canadians 18 years of age and over, conducted by Pollara between Aug. 31
and Sept. 5. A probability sample of this size would yield results
accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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