Canadians set to spend a record $898 this holiday with 88% seeking ways to make their budgets go further. - Retail Council of Canada
Industry Research

Canadians set to spend a record $898 this holiday with 88% seeking ways to make their budgets go further.

October 18, 2023

TORONTOOct. 18, 2023 /CNW/ – The 6th annual RCC X Leger Holiday Shopping Survey from Retail Council of Canada (RCC) unveils the evolving shopping patterns of over 2,500 Canadians from coast to coast. Displaying a resilient spirit, Canadians are projected to spend an unprecedented $898 this holiday season. This impressive number represents the nation’s ongoing generosity, their astute approach to seeking deals, the increasing prominence of major shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the indication that 90% of Canadians intend to shop for the winter holidays.

“Even with prevailing financial concerns on Canadians’ minds, the desire to connect with loved ones and shop and share gifts and experiences remains undeterred,” observed Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. “Retailers across the nation recognize these needs and will be providing Canadians with unique holiday shopping experiences, bolstered by exceptional products and engaging, value-added promotions.”


  • Unwavering Generosity: Canadians predict they will spend an average holiday expenditure of $898, a rise from last year’s $782. A substantial 80% of this amount will be allocated for gifting others.
  • Savvy Shopping in Spotlight: Economic apprehensions, including inflation and rising living costs, weigh on many. Accordingly, 88% (vs 83% in 2022) of Canadians are turning to proactive holiday shopping tactics, most notably hunting for sales (52%), preparing in advance (41%), and adhering to a precise budget (40%).
  • Retailer Selection: To help shoppers decide which retailers to buy from this year, Canadians are prioritizing holiday sales/promotions (66%) and free shipping (55%). They are also looking for in-store exclusives (48%) and distinct online promotions (60%) to provide additional value.
  • Shopping Experiences Enhancers: In-store shopping will benefit from value bundles (26%) and product sampling (25%). Conversely, online shopping will be amplified by unique product offers and extended return policies, both at 33%.
  • Increasing Popularity of Shopping Holidays: A growing number of Canadians are delaying significant buys, waiting for expected deals around the popular shopping holidays. The survey highlighted anticipated increases in shopping intentions for: Singles Day (10%, up from 5% in 2022), Black Friday (40%, up from 28% in 2022), Cyber Monday/Week (37%, up from 21% in 2022), and Boxing Day (32%, up from 18% in 2022).
  • Lead Spending Categories: Clothing emerges as 2023’s frontrunner, constituting 17% of the holiday budget, followed closely by home entertainment and essentials like food and alcohol grabbing 16% of the planned spend.
  • Gift Cards? Yes Please! 45% of shoppers are leaning towards purchasing gift cards for others this season, with a notable 37% of Canadians (up from 32% last year) expressing a preference for receiving gift cards over traditional presents. Dining gift cards top the charts (42%), while big-box retailers come in at 33% and food outlets register at 27%.
  • Local Shopping Upswing: Supporting local businesses this holiday has seen an increase in intent, with 82% of Canadians accentuating its importance, a leap from 74% last year.

The report’s depth also provides insights into distinct provincial shopping habits. For example, British Columbia residents might spend around $860 (vs the national average of $898), but Maritimers lead the country with their expected average spend of $1,110. Quebecers on the other hand report their spending will potentially be below the national average at $663. Quebecers are also likely to self-gift more, be more influenced by messages around sustainability, faster shipping, and allocate a larger chunk of their budget to entertaining at home.

A new feature of this year’s report is a section by Moneris, Canada’s leading provider of innovative and unified solutions for mobile, online, and in-store payments, which provides a snapshot of historical spending data to complement areas that focus on consumers’ reported shopping intentions. Moneris’ data also identifies interesting regional spending differences which further supports that retailers need to be prepared to quickly react to changing shopping patterns, not just from one year to the next but also within the shopping season itself. To learn more about Moneris’ Data Services please visit

The comprehensive 103-page survey is available exclusively for RCC members.

On October 24, 2023, from 1-2pm ET, RCC will host an online Retail Holiday Shopping Webinar. Leger will discuss the survey’s pivotal findings, providing insights for retailers to refine their holiday strategies. Moneris will highlight how customer and industry payment data can facilitate better business decisions during the holiday peak.  Register here for this FREE event. 

RCC members can access the full survey on the Retail Council of Canada website.

About the RCC X Leger Holiday Shopping Survey:

This extensive 103-page survey, conducted for the Retail Council of Canada by Leger, marks the 6th annual exploration into Canadians’ attitudes and behaviors as the festive shopping season nears. While retaining the essence of previous surveys, this edition delves deeper, aiming to decode the nuances of consumer gift-buying choices. Conducted between August 14 and 23, 2023, in both official languages, the survey encompasses a representative national sample of 2,500 Canadians aged 18 and over.

About Leger:

Leger is the largest Canadian-owned polling, marketing research and analytics firm, with over 600 employees in Canada and the United States. Established in 1986, Leger also owns LEO, an online panel, LEA, Leger Analytics, and Leger DGTL, a digital performance agency. For more information: .

About Retail Council of Canada

Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2.3 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $91 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were over $462B in 2022. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales through small, medium, and large retail businesses across the country. This includes 54,000 storefronts including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, online merchants and quick service restaurants. Our grocery members alone represent more than 95 per cent of the market in Canada.

For further information: Michelle Wasylyshen at