Survey on Buying Behaviours for the Holiday Season

Quebecers plan to spend for Christmas

MONTREAL, Nov. 10, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebecers intend to spend an average of $673 per household for the 2011 holiday season, compare to $672 in 2010. Moreover, 75% of Quebecers who plan to make holiday purchases intend to spend as much as, if not more than, last year.

These are some of the findings of a survey on Quebecers' spending behaviours for the 2011 holiday season, conducted by Groupe Altus on behalf of the Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD)/Retail Council of Quebec. Conducted exclusively in Quebec since 2004, this survey is the most reliable measure of Quebecers' spending behaviours as the holiday season approaches. According to the CQCD's president and CEO, Me Gaston Lafleur, "The results of this year's survey are encouraging. They allow us to conclude that Quebecers are likely to spend as much if not more during this Holiday season."

The importance of the holiday season for the overall retail sales for the year is a well-known phenomenon. Excluding the automotive sector, it is estimated that Quebec consumers' holiday spending will total $2.30 billion, up 2% compared with the same period last year.

The survey reveals some other interesting findings.

Confidence in the economy

  • 59% of Quebecers believe that the current economic situation will have little or no influence on their holiday spending intentions, a decrease of 7% compared to 2010.
  • More than 64% of respondents indicated that their personal financial situation will not influence or interfere with their decision to buy Christmas gifts.

The shopping period

  • Among Quebecers planning to make holiday purchases,
    • Nearly one quarter (22%) had already started their shopping in October or earlier;
    • 34% planned to do their shopping in November and
    • 35% will not start their shopping before December.
  • 10% of Quebecers made purchases on December 26, 2010 (Boxing Day).
  • This proportion could be slightly higher this year, as 13% intend to make purchases on Boxing Day 2011.

Number of recipients of gifts purchased

On average, Quebecers planning to make holiday purchases will buy gifts for 6.7 persons, essentially the same number as last year.

Purchase locations and types

  • More than half (53%) of Quebecers will make the majority of their holiday purchases in shopping centres.
  • The percentage of Quebecers intending to make the majority of their holiday purchases in big-box stores is expected to decrease slightly, from 10% last year to 8% in 2011.
  • 44% of Quebecers plan to give gift cards.
  • This year, Quebecers will spend
    • $193M on the purchase of gift cards for the holiday season.
    • $55M on Internet for the holiday season.
  • On the other hand, only 14% of Quebecers intend to use Internet to buy Christmas gifts.

Toys, apparel, CDs and DVDs, as well as educational and board games will be on the majority of shopping lists this year.

The most popular gift certificates will come from general merchandise stores, apparel and fashion accessories stores, bookstores and music stores.

Amount spent

Quebec households will spend an average of $673 for the holiday season this year ($672 in 2010). Of this amount, 60% will be spent on gifts, for an average of $404 per household, and 40% will be spent on food, receptions and beverages ($269).

Finally, it is interesting to note that only 5% of Quebecers do not plan to make any holiday purchases.

The survey was conducted between October 14 and 25, 2011. It polled 1004 persons aged 18 years or over who were responsible for their household's purchases. It has a margin of error of 3.2%, 19 times out of 20.

The Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD) is proud to promote, represent and enhance the image of the retail sector and the retailers who belong to it, in order to ensure the development and prosperity of the sector. The CQCD is an association of retail and distribution businesses representing more than 70% of retail-related activities in Quebec and is an indispensable voice for this major sector of the economy.


For further information:

Me Gaston Lafleur
President and CEO
Conseil québécois du commerce de détail/Retail Council of Quebec
Tel.: 514-842-6681, ext. 204

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