There are still a couple of months until the season to be jolly finally knocks on our door, yet the holiday shopping season is already kicking off. Many Canadians are already hitting the shopping malls in search of gifts for friends and family, all with the goal of avoiding the crowds that might start popping in later.

With the same goal in mind, retailers are already preparing for the Christmas shopping season, trying to drive shoppers to their door earlier than ever.


Retailers Are Ramping Up Their Holiday Plans

Retailers are speeding up their holiday plans to adapt to the changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.

Some of them want to attract in-store buyers early, and others want to focus more on their online storefronts, while some are looking to do both.

All of those with physical stores are focusing on the health and safety of their customers. Apart from making sure that both the staff and their customers wear the necessary PPE, they’re also installing hand-sanitizing stations in-store. Some are even building queue shelters with structures to protect people from rain, wind, and snow.

Nevertheless, many retailers are still worried about their revenue for the season due to the possibility of fewer impulse purchases.

Most Canadian Shoppers Will Buy In-Store

According to a PwC Canada’s 2020 Canadian Holiday Outlook, most Canadian consumers will make their holiday purchases in-store this year.

Overall, 59% of Canadian shoppers will buy in-store this holiday season.

Most of those shoppers belong to the 55+ age group, 60% of whom plan to visit physical stores to buy at least 3/4 of their holiday gifts.

When it comes to millennials and Gen Zers, 45% and 50% of them plan to do their holiday shopping in-store, respectively.

Online Shoppers Will Still Want Curbside Pick-Up at the Store

According to PwC Canada, online shoppers will rely on desktop/laptop devices (24%), smartphones (8%), tablets (5%), and smart-home technology (4%) to purchase holiday gifts this year.

However, 33% of them will still prefer curbside pick-up at the store.

It’s all about greater convenience, as they don’t need to wait one or more days for their package to arrive. They can pick it up anytime while still not having to go inside the store if they have COVID-19 concerns.

Retailers Will Need to Adapt to Make Profit

Retailers who don’t adapt to the new changes due to the pandemic might struggle to make a profit, or any kind of revenue this year. Those who learn to pivot when necessary will be successful and survive this daunting year with some kind of certainty.


The holiday shopping season is underway in Canada, with a primary focus on health and safety. That means lots of consumers shopping online, but most are still opting for in-store purchases.

Retailers are transforming their stores to meet the health and safety regulations and draw shoppers in, but only the most agile ones will come out victorious.

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