With a low loonie making it more expensive for Canadians to shop in the U.S., Canadian retailers are bracing for what could be their biggest Black Friday yet.

A recent UPS Canada survey conducted by Leger shows the number of Canadians who are likely to buy goods from the U.S. this upcoming weekend, either online or by cross-border shopping, has dropped by 22 per cent since last year.

The latest numbers show 13 per cent Canadians are likely to cross-border shop during the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, down from 20 per cent in 2014.

Meanwhile, 25 per cent of Canadians say they're likely to purchase goods online from a U.S. retailer this weekend, down from 32 per cent last year.

While in the past, the shopping day was adopted as a way to dissuade consumers from spending south of the border, retail experts say Black Friday has come into its own in Canada.

"It's a big deal," Michael LeBlanc of the Retail Council of Canada told CTVNews.ca."Retailers were thinking about what they're going to sell this weekend back in January."

Canadian consumers have experienced a shift in shopping patterns over the last couple of years, with more and more Canadians opting to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday as opposed to Boxing Day.

Black Friday lands on the fourth Friday in November and typically marks the beginning of the shopping season where many retailers are open for extended hours and offer deep discount.

Cyber Monday, which falls on the Monday after the holiday weekend, sees online retailers offering discounts and promotions.  

"These things pick up momentum and they become part of the culture," LeBlanc said. "That wouldn't have been said five or 10 years ago in Canada."

Last year was the first time Black Friday sales surpassed those on Boxing Day, according to Rob Cameron of Moneris, Canada's largest processors of debit and credit card payments. He said he expects to see even better results this year, as retail sales have been up six per cent across the country, while 2014 saw relatively flat retail sales throughout the year.

"Canadian consumers have been out spending more money this year anyways," said Cameron, chief product and marketing officer at Moneris.

Cameron said he expects an even greater jump in sales on Cyber Monday, where “there’s greater room for growth.”

LeBlanc added that there’s “double digit growth” in e-commerce in Canada, which outpaces overall growth in retail.

Over the last four years, both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have continued to pick up momentumin Canada, which has seen continuous year-over-year increases in sales, according to Moneris.

Year-over-year increase on Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales in Canada



Black Friday

Cyber Monday


8.29 %

15.38 %


6.51 %

22.54 %


19.19 %

29.33 %


5.08 %

12.11 %

Canadians making fewer trips to U.S.

With the loonie hovering around US$0.75, Canadian retailers are expecting more Canadians to shop at home as opposed to shopping in the U.S. this year. 

According to Statistics Canada, Canadians made 3.5 million trips to the U.S. in September 2015 compared to 4.4 million trips in September 2014.

"The rationale to (shop) in the U.S. just isn't there anymore," LeBlanc said.

Cameron said in the last quarter alone, spending on U.S. credit cards in Canada was up 12.8 per cent.

"Canadians now see (Black Friday) as a day on their shopping calendar," Cameron said. "In a year with a low dollar and good retail sales anyways, we think that it should certainly be an increase over last year."