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Canadian consumers' needs and behaviours are evolving. In this year's edition of PwC's Canadian holiday outlook, consumers indicate an improvement with their personal finances, growing economic confidence, and plans to significantly increase their holiday spending. In fact, Canadians expect to increase their individual holiday spending by 29 per cent over last year, with an average outlay of $1,420. This spending is still 11 per cent below pre-pandemic levels (2019), and predominantly due to the slow return of travel. Additionally, Millennials take the lead in the highest-spending generation at $1,618 (Gen Z: $1,178, Gen X: $1,452, Baby Boomers: $1,373 Greatest Generation: $1,011). Broadly speaking, Canadians plan to open their wallets wider this holiday season compared to 2020.

"Canadian retailers had to quickly adapt their business plans and accelerate their digital transformations over the last 18 months. The pandemic tested many retailers but also allowed for a period of experimentation regarding delivery methods, technologies and sales strategies. Retailers have shown great resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges," said Diane Brisebois President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada. "At last, we see an economic rebound and retailers are prepared and now better positioned to tailor to the changing needs and behaviours of the Canadian consumer, from increased in-store holiday spending to home delivery or curbside pickup."

Key Takeaways

  • Canadians expect to increase their individual holiday spending by 29 per cent, an average of $1,420
  • Millennials are projected to be the highest-spending generation this holiday season at $1,618
  • 59 per cent are more likely to shop at retailers that restrict admission to those with a proof of vaccination
  • Canadians expect to spend more time shopping online, rather than in-store (51 per cent vs. 49 per cent)
  • 27 per cent say their holiday shopping will be influenced by ads on TikTok, up from 17 per cent last year

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