So today is American Thanksgiving, which means tomorrow is “Black Friday,” the US national shopping holiday during which, traditionally, unlucky bargain hunters are crushed to death or trampled in the sacred name of consumer savings. We in Canada learn about such crowd horror stories to be endured and savings to be had and wonder, naturally, if we are not being left out.
So on the subway I was reading about how despite 84 per cent of Canadians knowing what Black Friday is, it isn’t very popular here:
Still, Sally Ritchie, vice president of communications and marketing for the Retail Council of Canada says Canadians aren’t entranced with cross-border door-busting. “Our polling data shows that only six per cent of people in British Columbia and five per cent of Ontarians plan to travel to the U.S. for Black Friday,” Ritchie says; 94 per cent of Canadians will be staying put.
So then I thought, okay, what? Only 5 per cent of Ontarians will travel to another country just to shop? On one day? And that is a sign that we are “not entranced”? That’s almost 650,000 people from Ontario—that’s a group of people larger than the population of Hamilton. The average audience for Hockey Night in Canada during round one of the playoffs in 2010 was less than 5 per cent of the Canadian population.* That’s actually really popular.
Anyhow. If you’re celebrating the American holiday, happy Thanksgiving. And if you’re among the 1 in 20 of my neighbours planning to observe Black Friday by undertaking international travel, I wish you a minimum of trampling.
PHOTO: GLENN LOWSON/TORONTO STAR
*This sentence was originally worded poorly, leading to an incorrect conclusion. It has been edited for accuracy.