Even though Boxing Day is celebrated in several countries, it's a holiday that Canada is known for. That's because it's one of the few federal public holidays where Ontarians, specifically, get paid to take the day off, not to mention because it's a major contributor to the country's economy due to all the shopping that takes place.
However, despite the litany of retailers offering discounts on gifts for Dec. 26, many consumers say that they find just as many sales deals for holiday events that aren't unique to Canada.
According to a recent poll performed by digital coupon website RetailMeNot, nearly two-thirds of Canadian respondents said they find just as many deals on products for Christmas as they do for Boxing Day. Additionally, seven in 10 said indicated that they felt like the markdowns that are promoted for the day after Christmas to be overrated, often capable of finding better deals for other sales events throughout the year.
Perhaps because of this, nearly everyone in the poll said that they had no intention of camping out in front of a store's entrance solely so they could take advantage of a promotion. Ninety-six percent "would never be caught" spending the night outside a store. In fact, nearly one-third indicated that it didn't matter what the discount was – there was no price that could compel them to wait in line for a prodigious amount of time.
Angela Self, co-founder of personal finance and money advice website, indicated that despite this, retailers want to provide consumers with deals so that they can drum up demand.
"It's becoming more common for retailers to offer pre-Christmas deals to keep sales strong throughout the entire holiday season," said Self.
Few will spend more than $100 on gift giving
As for how much Boxing Day and Christmas shoppers intend to spend, nearly half – 45 percent – said they'll part with less than $100, the RetailMeNot survey found.. Additionally, about 50 percent indicated that they don't want to spend any more than they did last year. The top items on consumers' shopping lists include apparel and electronic gadgets.
Perhaps because Boxing Day is a holiday where many people travel in order to meet with family, there have been a considerable number of local car insurance claims filed on Dec. 26 or in the days prior to it. For example, the Ontario Provincial Police reported last year that they responded to more than 81 traffic accidents during the Boxing Day holiday period in 2012. In fact, there were 42 that occurred in a 36-hour window, according to The Windsor Star.
Last year, many of the accidents had to do with treacherous road conditions. Ontarians might remember that the region received a considerable amount of snowfall, which when coupled with cold temperatures, created icy roadways for commuters.
"I don't know if you've had the worst of it, but you've had a significant wallop of snow," Arnold Ashton, meteorologist for Environment Canada, told The Windsor Star last year.
Traffic officials are hopeful that Boxing Day this year will be calm and accident reports minimal.