Inflation? What inflation? |

Despite historic increases in the price of groceries, housing, energy, consumer goods and services, consumers have no intention of slowing down this holiday season.

According to the Canadian firm Shopify Inc., which provides e-commerce tools to businesses in more than 175 countries, sales from merchants registered on its system increased by 17% this year compared to last year during the sales of the Crazy Friday.

On Friday alone, merchants registered with Shopify made $3.36 billion in sales. At the peak of the day, there were US$3.5 million in sales per minute.

Consumers made the most purchases in the US, UK and Canada, Shopify measured. The most popular product categories were apparel and accessories, health/beauty, and home and garden products.

It’s not just Shopify that has seen consumers’ renewed appetite for holiday shopping. In the United States, despite an inflation rate of 7.7% in October, retail sales figures between American Thanksgiving and Cyber ​​Monday promise to be stellar this year.

Trust reigns

Electronics stores are very popular during the Black Friday sales.

Photo : AP / Julia Nikhinson

On Black Friday three days ago, American consumers spent more than $9.12 billion in a single day on online sales alone. This is a billion dollars more than last year, underlines the firm Adobe Analytics.

Online sales of electronics were up 221% last Friday compared to an average day in October 2022, with the top-selling items being MacBooks and Apple Watches, according to Adobe.

Drones, the Xbox Series X and games such as FIFA 23 and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet also topped the internet shopping charts.

As for Cyber ​​Monday which is The the rendezvous of online bargain hunters, it’s expected to bring US merchants between $11.2 billion and $11.6 billion today alone, according to Adobe Analytics forecasts, 8.5% more than the last year.

Inflation, however, is not unrelated to these significant increases in the value of sales to the extent that people pay more for their goods even if they buy less, point out analysts at Adobe.

However, despite the craze for online commerce, the stores are still very popular, according to the National Retail Federation, which predicted that 67% of Black Friday shoppers would visit stores for the occasion.

More than 166 million Americans are expected to shop in person or online in the five days between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber ​​Monday.

Canadians follow suit

As in the United States, Canadian consumer confidence does not seem to be shaken too much by inflation (6.9% in October) and the specter of an upcoming recession.

According to the findings of a survey commissioned by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), released in October, Canadians plan to celebrate more during the holidays this year and plan to spend the same as last year.

According to the survey carried out by the firm Léger among 2,505 Canadians, everything may cost more, but the general mood is not one of deprivation this year.

« The current difficult financial situation is affecting 6 in 10 Canadians, but most plan to spend roughly the same amount, $790, that they planned to spend in 2021. »

A quote from Retail Council of Canada

Moreover, 6 out of 10 consumers say they will look for bargains more this year.

About 60% of respondents also plan to hit the stores for their holiday shopping.

According to the Léger survey, while 8 out of 10 Canadian consumers plan to buy gifts for others this year, 62% said they wanted to give gifts with greater meaning, but to fewer people.

The Black Friday paradox

A man walks down the aisle of a store.

Despite diminished purchasing power and a high debt ratio, consumers do not intend to miss out on the holiday bargains that have become something of a tradition.

Photo : AP / Charlie Riedel

But how to explain this frenzy despite the significant rise in the price of food and essential goods which should, in theory at least, deprive the country’s households of part of the financial resources devoted to non-essential expenses?

In interview given to our colleague Raphaël Beaumont-DrouinMyriam Ertz, Professor in the Department of Economics and Administrative Sciences at theUQACexplains that the loss of consumer purchasing power ultimately has little impact on online and in-store sales during periods like Black Friday or Cyber ​​Monday.

Insofar as these American sales days have become an annual event spread throughout the world, today it is a consumption ritual, a tradition that is celebrated no matter what, points out Ms. Ertz. This is something that comes up repeatedly, to which consumers attach particular importance.she says.

A sign that inflation is not slowing down consumer spending, it reminds us that indebtedness linked to the use of credit cards reached record levels at the end of September in the country, according to a survey conducted by Equifax Canada.

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