Canadians projected to spend more money this holiday season

10 October 2018

Canadians will spend $1,563 on average this holiday season, an increase of 3.7% over last year’s purchasing. PwC Canada’s 2018 Holiday Outlook report relates that 60% of Canadians will shop between Black Friday and December 25.

According to the annual PwC Canada report, travel continues to make up the largest proportion of holiday spending (46%). Gifts follow close behind at 41%, while entertainment (including dining out) accounts for 13% of the holiday spend.

Increased holiday spending, which is expected to go up from an average of $1,507 in 2017 to $1,563 this year, means that consumer confidence is doing fairly well. Despite factors like high interest rates, rising debt levels, and caustic trade negotiations, Canadians will still see a modest rise in their gift-giving this season. Overall, 58% of those surveyed said that they would spend the same, while 25% said that they would spend more this season. Meanwhile, millennials were slightly more optimistic than the average, with 38% planning to spend more than the year before.

Primary shopping channels

Interestingly, despite rising debt levels in Canada, more than 74% of Canadians will use credit cards to purchase gifts, with only 19% concerned about credit card debt. The high usage, rather than for purely credit needs, could additionally reflect credit cards' centrality in online purchasing, or to rack up points and rewards on big spending. The low worry, on the other hand, could reflect confidence that the bill will be paid off before high interest rates kick in.

PwC projects that more people will shop in-store this season rather than online. 63% of Canadians consider brick-and-mortar stores as their primary holiday shopping channel. On the other hand, 51% of millennials consider online shopping first, which is close to the attitude of the US consumers overall (50%).

Meanwhile, men will spend more than women, increasing their spending by 7% to $1,752. The average Canadian woman will spend $1,385 this season.

Physical items vs gift cards

Millennial moms, however, will be the biggest spenders this season, shelling out an average $2,264; the second-heaviest spenders will be the Greatest Generation (age 72+), at $2,239. Amazon Prime members (23% of Canadians) are projected to spend $2,026.

In the battle of gift cards versus physical items, gift cards have been gaining in popularity in recent years. However, millennials are more inclined to want to buy – and receive – physical items rather than gift cards. 49% of millennials plan to buy physical items for others compared to 43% overall, while only 21% of millennials intend to buy gift cards for others versus 38% of people overall.

And not to forget the furry members of the family, PwC expects pet owners to spend an average of $65 on their pets over the holidays.

In other PwC Canada news, the firm recently opened the application period for its Vision to Reality Awards (V2R) which recognize innovative and creative Canadian organizations. The application period runs until December 21, 2018.


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Bath products boutique chain Dans un Jardin shuts down

23 November 2018

Thirty-five years after opening in Quebec, Dans un Jardin has filed for bankruptcy. The bath products chain will close 55 boutique locations, as well as the manufacturing plant of subsidiary Art de Vivre Fabrication in Boucherville, QC. The firm’s insolvency proceedings are being handled by Montreal-based accounting and consulting firm Richter.

Buffeted by insurmountable financial difficulties, bath products retailer and manufacturer Dans un Jardin filed for bankruptcy on Monday. According to a statement from the firm, increased competition, significant decreases in sales, and an unfavourable cost structure ultimately brought the company to its knees.

Despite cost reduction initiatives, including cuts to management salaries and the closing of the least profitable locations, the company was not able to turn things around.

“Since the recovery efforts undertaken by the Companies in recent years have not paid off, the shareholders have come to the conclusion that the only possible option is to cease operations and proceed with orderly liquidation,” said a statement from Dans un Jardin. “It is with regret that we announce, after 35 years in business, the closure of our stores and our manufacturing unit located in Boucherville.”Bath products boutique chain Dans un Jardin shuts downThe Quebec company has 55 boutique locations, as well as 600 sales points for its products across Quebec and Canada. It employs 250 people year-round, and 600 during the peak holiday season.

Dans un Jardin’s stores will remain open during the liquidation process, which will extend through the holiday season. The company will be holding warehouse sales in Quebec City, Longueuil, and Gatineau to liquidate inventory. Management expects the liquidation process to conclude by January 2019.

Accounting and consulting firm Richter is handling Dans un Jardin’s insolvency proceedings. Founded in Montreal in 1926, the firm offers a full suite of advisory services, including audit, tax, growth strategy, digital transformation, risk advisory, litigation support, and turnaround and restructuring. The company opened its Canadian insolvency and corporate restructuring division in 1971, and its US financial restructuring arm in 1998. Richter has 500 professionals working from offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Chicago.