CIBC Poll: With one weekend to go, 69 per cent of Canadians have not finished their holiday shopping

Canadians have spent more this year versus the same time in 2012 and will need to stretch their holiday budget in the coming days

TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - A new poll from CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) by Harris/Decima finds that as of Dec. 16, over two-thirds of Canadians (69 per cent) have not yet finished their holiday shopping with 22 per cent admitting they haven't even started. This points to a busy weekend ahead for local stores and malls across the country.

Highlights of the holiday shopping poll include:

  • Entering the final shopping weekend before the holidays, 69 per cent of Canadians have not yet finished their holiday shopping, which includes 22 per cent who say they haven't started yet.
  • Among Canadians who have started shopping, they say they've spent an average of $986 up to Dec. 16, 2013; that's higher than the $852 holiday spending budget Canadians set for themselves in a similar poll done last month.
  • It's also higher than the $692 Canadians said they spent last year heading into the final weekend for holiday shopping in 2012.
  • 20 per cent of Canadians believe they will be over budget by the time the last gift is wrapped, although 58 per cent believe they can still meet their budget.

The poll also revealed some regional differences among those who have started their holiday shopping this year:

  • Residents of Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were among the most likely to say they had not started shopping yet (both at 26 per cent), while only 13 per cent of Albertans said they had yet to start their holiday shopping.
  • Quebec residents who have started shopping have spent $503, on average, so far this year, the lowest in the country. Among Albertans who say they've started shopping, they've spent $1,586 on average.

"As Canadians dash to stores to complete their holiday shopping on top of their already busy schedules this time of year, it's important that they monitor their spending and keep their budgets in mind," said Barry Gollom, Vice President, Consumer Deposits, CIBC. "To start the New Year off right financially, you need to ensure you don't overextend yourself during the holidays and exceed your budget."

Smartphones becoming indispensable for holiday shoppers

The poll also showed that over half (56 per cent) of Canadians carry their smartphone with them while shopping, including 72 per cent in the 25-44 age group.

Mr. Gollom noted that carrying a mobile device opens up a number of tools for Canadians to better access their finances, even while fighting crowds in busy stores.

"Your smartphone can make budgeting easier by allowing you to check in with mobile banking while you shop to stay on top of what you're spending," said Mr. Gollom. "You can even make purchases with your mobile device using the CIBC Mobile Payment app to save time, while also tracking those expenses and receiving spending alerts that can help you stay on track towards your December budget."

To help manage holiday expenses and start 2014 on a solid financial footing, CIBC offers the following advice:

Track Purchases: Canadians planning to use cash or debit can track their spending using the free CIBC Mobile Banking app on their smartphone. This allows consumers to quickly check their balance and review the day's purchases in real-time. For those planning to use a CIBC credit card, CIBC CreditSmart allows clients to set a budget limit for each spending category, and be notified by phone, email or online message if they exceed their customized budget.

Earn Points While Avoiding Interest Charges: Canadians planning to use a credit card to pay for holiday purchases can also earn reward points that may save them money later. Keep in mind, if you plan to pay with a credit card, you should have a plan in place to pay off your balance to avoid incurring interest charges.

Keep Saving! Many Canadians find it more difficult to keep up with regular savings plans in December, but that doesn't mean you should skip this month's installment. If at all possible, make sure to tuck away your regular contribution to keep longer term goals on track. An automatic savings program is always a good idea.


Percentage of Canadians who say they have not completed their holiday shopping, by region:

National Average      69%
Atlantic Canada     56%
Quebec      70%
Ontario       73%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan    74%
Alberta           58%
British Columbia      67%

Percentage of Canadians who say they have not started their holiday shopping yet, by region:

National Average      22%
Atlantic Canada     17%
Quebec      26%
Ontario       22%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan    26%
Alberta           13%
British Columbia      23%

Percentage of Canadians who say they have not started their holiday shopping yet, by gender:

Male   29%
Female   15%

Among Canadians who have started their holiday expenses, average dollar amount spent so far this holiday season, compared to what they planned to spend as part of a November CIBC poll, by region:

  Plan to Spend (Nov. 2013) Spent so far (to Dec. 16, 2013)
National $852 $986
Atlantic Canada $877 $1,467
Quebec $767 $503
Ontario $898 $1,007
Manitoba/Saskatchewan $868 $1,016
Alberta $903 $1,586
British Columbia $845 $990

Percentage of Canadians who say they will exceed their holiday spending budget this season, by region:

National Average      20%
Atlantic Canada      14%
Quebec       20%
Ontario       21%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan     27%
Alberta           14%
British Columbia      19%

*Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1000 Canadians through teleVox, the company's national telephone omnibus survey. These data were gathered in a sample of 1,017 between Dec. 12 and 16, 2013. A sample of this size has a margin of error of +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at


For further information:

Kevin Dove, Head of External Communications and Media Relations, CIBC:
(416) 980-8835 or

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