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Black Friday not just an American event anymore

Canadian stores hold their own Black Friday event to keep customers within Canada. (Photo illustration by Renee Sutton)
Canadian stores hold their own Black Friday event to keep customers within Canada. (Photo illustration by Renee Sutton)

By Mel Edgar

Black Friday is a traditional time before American Thanksgiving where our neighbours to the south gather to beat each other bloody for pre-holiday deals, and now this tradition has taken root here in Canada.

Canadian businesses mobilize in an attempt to keep customers this Friday

Many businesses in Oakridge Mall are participating in the Black Friday sales.

“We are trying to offer price matching and removing sales tax,” “said Vicki Minhas, associate manager of the Source at Oakridge Mall. “We are trying to keep shoppers from going down to the states.”

“Black Friday is becoming a Canadian shopping event,” said Brenda Longland, marketing director at Oakridge Mall.

Oakridge Mall, along with Guildford Town Centre and Metropolis at Metrotown, are participating in One Day of Wonder, as part of a national event where shoppers use the hashtag #OneDayWonder to win prizes, including $500 gift cards.

Emersen Phillips, a nanny visiting Oakridge Mall from California, said that having a Black Friday event in Canada is a bad idea. “In the States it starts earlier and earlier each year, and takes away from family time,” she said.

Katherine Wong, a new mother, said that although she has shopped on Black Friday in the past, she no longer has the time.

“If anything I will be shopping online,” said Wong.

Heavy drinking in the midst this Friday

Even BC Liquor Stores are jumping on the opportunity to get involved in Black Friday sales. In an email, April Kemick, manager of communications, said BC Liquor Stores will be offering special Black Friday pricing for the first year ever. Deals will include a few store favourites, as well as eight to ten products that are not currently in-store.

Kemick said BC Liqour Stores are not specifically trying to keep customers in B.C. because consumers still have to abide by beverage alcohol limits when crossing the border. She said the Black Friday sale is has become a day when customers anticipate sales, and that they are trying to meet customer expectations.

Here is a video of last year’s chaotic Black Friday in the U.S. (Video found in YouTube)

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