This is the unofficial kick off of the retail season. The Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday which is followed by Black Friday, generally considered the launch of the Christmas harvest season for the retail sector.
While Black Friday is not an official event in Canada, we have begun to adopt it…led by retailers working both sides of the border. The same goes for Cyber Monday which completes the multi-day retail blitz.
And it can’t come soon enough. This has been a tough road for the retail sector which has seen many big names disappear, head into bankruptcy protection or shut down stores. The latest numbers from StatsCan show the Canadian economy is beginning to sputter as consumers rein in their spending.
Retail spending was down in seven provinces in September. The biggest contributor was a reduction in spending on transportation but they would have been down even if gas prices had not fallen.
In Saskatchewan we were down marginally in September and it could all be attributed to fuel prices.