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Slight retail growth this holiday season: Deloitte

November 14, 2012  By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

Nov. 14, 2012, Toronto — Canadians are cautiously optimistic about the country’s economic outlook as they embark on their holiday shopping this season, Deloitte’s latest holiday outlook survey reports.

According to the survey, a one to two per cent growth in retail sales this holiday season will be shared among expanded online offers, U.S. retailers operating on Canadian soil, and cross-border merchants. The survey also found that today’s consumers are more than ever connected through technologies that are changing how and where they shop.

“Retailers are continuing to wait for a full economic recovery as customers remain quite price sensitive,” said Brent Houlden, Canadian retail practice leader with Deloitte Canada. “With mounting competition, consumers will have an abundance of options for finding deals that deliver true value and savings.”


The survey found that 63.9 per cent of respondents will choose where they shop based on a store’s low prices. Product selection (57.5 per cent) and brand selection (47.2%) were identified as the most important attributes consumers look for in a retailer.

The uptake in mobile devices and Internet use has had an impact on how consumers find gift ideas, compare products and discover sales. More than half of all Canadians (60 per cent) plan to leverage a combination of online, mobile catalogue and store channels for holiday shopping to the same or greater extent as last year. In addition, 60 per cent will use the Internet during the course of their holiday shopping to find the lowest available price, conduct product research and seek validation from friends and family (an increase from 49 per cent in 2011).

“Technology is changing the way Canadians shop. Shoppers are using the Internet and mobile tools for research,” said Houlden. “Retailers that capitalize on the connected consumer’s new path-to-purchase will win loyal customers and secure bigger market share.”

The holiday outlook survey was conducted between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27. A sample group of 2,349 Canadians was interviewed using an online panel. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure the sample’s composition reflects Census data for the adult population and to provide results that reflect the sample universe.  A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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