This years’ holiday season may look different from years prior. For one, government-mandated restrictions on gathering seem to be a thing of the distant past, allowing us to return to family- and friend-filled gatherings, meaning more food on the table, snacks bought from c-stores and gas to fuel our rides. And still this year, many Canadian consumers expect economic hardships to impact their plans.
In the 2023 Canadian Holiday Intentions, a consumer survey report by Numerator, over half of respondents said they expect inflation or a potential economic slowdown to impact their 2023 holiday celebrations and shopping. To prepare for the coming holidays this year, Numerator surveyed 2,056 Canadian consumers this January and asked them how they intended to shop over 10 key holidays this year: Valentine’s Day, Easter, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The biggest take away for c-stores? The fact that over two-thirds (71%) of shoppers say they’ll buy holiday items on sale, with 51% of shoppers intending to buy fewer items in general this year. With less money intended to be spent on holidays this year, hopefully some of the key insights from the study will help you prepare your c-store for this years’ holiday.
[Read more: "Canadian consumers pull back on spending amid high prices, interest rates: Experts"]
The most celebrated holidays
No surprise, Christmas was the holiday that most Canadians expected to celebrate, with 96% of consumers answering definitely or probably when asked if they would celebrate the holiday. New Year's Eve and Thanksgiving tied for the second spot with 83%, followed by Easter at 80%, Canada Day and Halloween at 69%, Valentine’s Day at 63% and Labour Day at 53%. Diwali and Hanukkah ranked further down on the list, with 10% and 9% of respondents saying they would celebrate, respectively.
For c-stores looking to capitalize on last-minute holiday shoppers, Canada Day and Labour Day represent the best time to do so. When asked when they planned their holidays, 37% of Canadians said they made plans for Canada Day one-to-two days ahead, with 35% reporting the same for Labour Day. Thanksgiving, Easter, Valentines Day, New Years Eve and Halloween are also planned for at somewhat last minute, with 57%, 53%, 51%, 48% and 46% of respondents saying they plan for these holidays one-to-two weeks in advance.
The highest purchasing time for consumers seems to be around Christmas and Halloween, with 98% of respondents reporting that they intend to purchase something during those holidays.