Retailers are cautious as consumer concerns about the economy threaten Black Friday revenue

Once a uniquely American event, Black Friday has become one of Canada’s busiest shopping days in recent years — but concerns about the economy may dampen spending this year.

„Retailers are realizing that consumers aren’t really in a spending mood, given interest rates and inflation,” said retail analyst Bruce Winter.

Downtown Vancouver was busy on Friday, but eager shoppers were more interested in steep discounts than casual deals.

„50 percent, 60 percent, 70 percent,” said shopper Mary-Liz Bahjeen.

A student on a budget, Bahjeen wants to cut back on her spending this holiday season, but admits that’s easier said than done.

„I feel it’s a bit impossible not to spend a lot because it’s Christmas and you’re thinking about yourself and your family,” she said.

On Robson Street, Susan Lee said she was looking for deals on things like cosmetics, which she had planned to buy anyway.

Stocking up on big sale days is something she can do now more than ever.

„Before COVID my spending was definitely there, I don’t think about it when I buy things,” Li said. „Looks like I have to budget a little more now. Here we go. A recession, so that affects how I spend. Be very careful.”

Traffic jams around the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet prompted YVR to allow extra time to get to the airport on Friday and throughout the weekend.

At some point on Friday, the combined shopping and airport shuttle went to the Arthur Laing Bridge.

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