Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Boxing Day always a shopping frenzy

Popular despite online deals, Black Friday

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Winnipeggers still hit the stores early Boxing Day in hopes of snapping up deals despite the growing popularity of Black Friday and the abundance of online deals.

Janessa Wirth was up early Thursday so she could be among the first to get deals at Lululemon at the Polo Park Shopping Centre.

Wirth arrived at 6:30 a.m., 15 minutes before the mall opened, so she didn't have to wait in the cold for long.

"It's really rare that Lululemon has anything on sale, so I always go there first because it gets really busy right away," said Wirth, who was fifth in line to get into the store Thursday.

"I just want to get in and out of there as soon as possible."

'It's funny, people are lining up and they don't even know what the prices are yet'

-- James Vincent, supervisor of customer service at the Garden City Future Shop

Wirth has been shopping on Boxing Day for a couple of years and she said it's always crazy. She got into the mall through the Sears entrance to wait in line at Lululemon, which opened at 7 a.m.

Lululemon specializes in yoga and workout wear.

"As soon as they opened the doors downstairs I saw a lot of girls just running towards the store. One of them even fell as she was running up the escalator," she said.

Nationally, the number of people who said they were going Boxing Day shopping this year was at 59 per cent, down by three per cent from last year, according to a survey done by Pollara in November.

However, Garden City Future Shop general manager Mark Vanhoof said he didn't see any drop in the number of customers this year.

"What we usually find at Future Shop is that the Boxing Day sales are when you're buying for yourself and the Black Friday are more so for gift-buying," Vanhoof said.

On a typical day, Future Shop sees around 1,000 customers, but on Boxing Day that number is at least 10 times that amount. That number has been consistent during the past couple of years, Vanhoof said.

There were about 80 people lined up outside the Future Shop on Leila Avenue Thursday morning despite a temperature of -21 C.

James Vincent, supervisor of customer service at the Garden City Future Shop, said people expect really low prices on Boxing Day.

"It's funny, people are lining up and they don't even know what the prices are yet," said Vincent. "I asked someone in line this morning what he was here for and he said an iPad, but he didn't even know how much we are selling them for."

Unlike some diehard Boxing Day shoppers, Bjorn Jakobson, 23, wasn't out at 4 a.m. He arrived about 90 minutes after the Future Shop opened its doors at 6 a.m.

He used to wait in line for hours so he could buy $20 video games but now that he's no longer a teenager, he's past the Boxing Day craze.

"If I miss some of the sales, it's not a big deal," he said.

Thursday, Jakobson bought two TVs, a sound system and some video games but not all of them for himself.

"I bought a TV for my girlfriend's mom," he said.

"She's nice to me and always invites us over for dinner so I just wanted to get her something nice."

 

veronika.gorlova@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 27, 2013 A6

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