2022-11-25 09:00:00

Inflation and excess inventory have retailers pushing deeper discounts than usual this Black Friday

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By Pete Evans

High inflation has left Canadians counting their pennies far more than usual this year, making the job of retailers to convince them to spend this holiday season harder than ever.

Friday marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, as U.S.-style Black Friday sales are now firmly entrenched in Canada, too.

The annual spending bonanza is different this year, however, as experts say that while there are more deals than usual, they're coming against a backdrop of consumers who are more cost conscious than ever.

It's the year of the discount, it really is, retail consultant Bruce Winder said in an interview. Consumers have shown that they're frugal, they're stingy this year, and they're not going to buy unless it's on sale.

A lot of excess product

Excess inventory levels are a big reason why discounts may be deeper than usual this year.

In the early days of the pandemic, retailers struggled with supply chain issues that led to empty shelves in many product categories. But Winder says the pendulum has swung the other way now, as many retailers have far more inventory to move than they normally would this time of year which is pushing them to discount it more deeply and earlier than they normally would.

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