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Want To Avoid Holiday Crowds? Experts Say These Are The Best Days To Shop

The busiest days vary depending on the kind of store. 🛍️

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​People crowd into downtown Montreal's Christmas Market.

People crowd into downtown Montreal's Christmas Market.

Black Friday is notoriously the busiest shopping day of the year and that's not just because of the megadeal hype. Leading up to the holidays, Friday tends to be the most hectic day of the week when a bulk of shoppers head out to aimlessly gift hunt.

If you're not in the mood for bustling crowds and competing with other customers to grab dwindling stock, you can either stick to online purchases or plan out which day to visit your favourite store.

Based on Canada-wide transaction data, payment processor Moneris found that the busiest days to shop in-person tend to be at the end of the week, but that most spending happens online early to mid-week. That means heading to the stores after work on Wednesdays could mean fewer fellow consumers. Sundays also tend to be quiet.

According to Moneris, the shopping days that are most to least busy are:

  • Friday
  • Thursday
  • Monday to Wednesday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

"Data shows larger transactions happen at the beginning of the week, likely because shoppers are getting a head start on the holidays," the company explains.

But not all store types see the same trend. For apparel, household, and specialty stores, more specifically, Saturday is often the busiest in-store shopping day of the week.

Household stores, including those selling essential home and repair goods, tend to have the busiest day of the season on the Saturday after Black Friday.

Last-minute shoppers usually head out on December 23, making that stand out as a no-go for those wanting to avoid mobs at the mall.

While living expenses and shopping costs are higher this year, Moneris data from October shows that spending is up year-over-year with volume up 3% and transaction count up 6%.

The company predicts that overall spending this holiday season will be 10% higher compared to 2021.

    Sofia Misenheimer
    MTL Blog, Associate Editor
    Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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