Press Release

Mastercard SpendingPulse: Canadian Consumers are expected to prioritize brick-and-mortar shopping this holiday season

November 13, 2023 | Toronto, CA

This holiday season, from November 1 to December 24, Canadian in-store sales are expected to increase 2.8% year-over-year (YoY), according to Mastercard SpendingPulse™.  Coming off a strong post-Covid holiday season in 2022, consumer spending is expected to remain resilient this year.  Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment and is not adjusted for inflation.

The deceleration of inflation in Canada as we head into the critical holiday season offers some respite for consumers.” said Michelle Meyer, Chief Economist, North America, Mastercard Economic Institute. “Consumers are expected to be smart with their holiday budgets this year by trying to stretch their dollars to their maximum potential.”

Key trends to watch for this holiday season include:

Deck the malls: Consumers continue to seek out physical retail stores for their holiday shopping, while online sales are expected to soften compared to last year. However, as consumers are accustomed to shorter delivery times, a peak in online sales is expected the weekend before Christmas.

Ready, set, Black Friday: Black Friday is expected to kick off the holiday shopping period with an expected spike in in-store and online sales as consumers scoop up discounted goods. The momentum is expected to continue from there with a steady increase in sales and flurry of last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve.

All I want for Christmas is…Electronics: Electronics sales are expected to see the largest sector growth (3.9% YoY) indicating that consumers could be looking to update to the latest tech gadgets this holiday season. Conversely, apparel and jewelry are not as likely to top wish lists this year with expected softening of sales in both sectors compared to last year.

Eat, drink and be merry: Consumers are expected to be celebrating by entertaining at home and out on the town. Both the Restaurants and Grocery sectors are expected to experience moderate growth of 3.4% and 3.1% YoY, respectively.

“In store experiences coupled with ongoing sales and promotions will be paramount for retailers this holiday season,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairmans of SAKS incorporated. “While the convenience of online is still important, consumers are keen to physically interact with their purchases. We can expect retailers to prioritize in-store only promotions, gifts with purchase, point of purchase sales and hands-on sales staff. “

Media Contacts

Cory Fisher, Mastercard

About Mastercard SpendingPulse

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and cheque. As such, SpendingPulse™ insights do not in any way contain, reflect or relate to actual Mastercard operational or financial performance, or specific payment-card-issuer data.  

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.