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Shoppers play chicken

The annual game of chicken has begun in earnest as consumers wait tosee how long retailers can hold out before slashing prices even furtheras the Christmas deadline looms.

The annual game of chicken has begun in earnest as consumers wait to see how long retailers can hold out before slashing prices even further as the Christmas deadline looms.

With just 15 days left to shop, half of Canadians are only halfway through their holiday lists, a survey by Maritz Research Canada shows. That’s a higher number of people who are delaying their purchases than last year, said Rob Daniel, managing director.

And unless you have your heart set on a limited edition item, it will be worth the wait, other industry experts said.

“There’s going to be a little game of chicken with the consumer,” said Willy Kruh, national partner with KPMG. “Consumers already saw prices being discounted early in the game, more than normal. So they’re going to wait.”

Shoppers are planning to spend $570 on gifts on average, the same amount as last year, and they’re again favouring stores that advertise low prices, the survey found.

Wal-Mart Canada is the top holiday shopping destination for the third year in a row with 65 per cent of consumers indicating they plan to shop there, follow­ed by Zellers and Canadian Tire, who tied at 43 per cent each, the survey found.


Canadians rank sales and discounts, level of customer service, availability of staff and hours of operation as the top four most important factors in deciding where to shop, the survey found.

Clothing is the top item on gift giver’s lists, followed by entertainment products and gift certificates. However, when asked what they would like to receive, the top pick was gift certificates, the survey found.

 
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