‘You literally can’t move:’ Shoppers return to GTA malls in Boxing Day frenzy


Last-minute shoppers braved the malls on Saturday to score the perfect gift, but those looking to snag a Boxing Day deal were in droves, causing at least one car crash in Vaughan with traffic stretching across miles around Vaughan Mills.

« I’ve never seen people go so wild for jeans, » said Ariana, a Boxing Day shopper at Vaughan Mills. « You literally can’t move, » she added, referring to heavy foot traffic in the mall.

The feast is celebrated on Boxing Day and originated in the appointment of St. Stephen by the Apostles as one of seven deacons to distribute money, food or other material goods to underserved members of the community. ‘Church.

Although it started out as a holiday to offer goods to those who might need a little help, it is more commonly known now as a shopping spree for people looking to get bargains on items and picking up things they didn’t get for Christmas.

At the Vaughan Mills shopping center, traffic stretched for miles around the area, with at least one car accident reported by York Regional Police on Monday afternoon.

The Rutherford Road exit on the freeway. 400 – the exit closest to the mall – was also jammed with cars, with one driver telling the Star it took him 40 minutes to drive from Steeles Avenue West to Rutherford Road – a journey that would normally take around 15 minutes.

The parking lot was full, with a shopper saying in a video posted to TikTok that she left frustrated after unsuccessfully circling the area for 40 minutes looking for a parking space.

Bus routes in the region also experienced delays of up to 25 minutes, according to reports from York Region Transit. Eaton Center in downtown Toronto was also packed with customers.

In Windsor, Boxing Day shopper Jon Liedtke reported that the Devonshire Mall was “not too busy”, with regular traffic in the surrounding area – perhaps even a little less than usual. « It seems the cold has kept the masses at home. »

Southeast of Toronto, videos posted to social media show dozens of people lining up to enter the Nike store at the Niagara Outlet Collection Mall – even after a crippling blizzard caused whiteouts and store closures. widespread roads in the area in recent days.

Michelle Wasylyshen, spokeswoman for the Retail Council of Canada, said Boxing Day shopping was largely dependent on the weather this year, with places with more snow and harsher driving conditions likely to see fewer traffic than malls in the GTA.

But even if people didn’t leave their homes, Boxing Days sales are still readily available online, with in-person and online deals expected to last all week.

« Online shopping is still very important for Boxing Day, especially for seasonal items and other high-ticket items such as furniture and appliances, » she said.

Wasylyshen said November is usually the busiest shopping month, but retailers have been mostly disappointed with Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday sales this year, in part because consumers expected better offers.

Despite inflation and talk of a recession, the council’s shopping survey found people were still planning to celebrate and shop for the festive season, although a little differently for the premiere of in recent years with no pandemic-related public health restrictions in place.

Although it’s too early to tell how retailers fared on Boxing Day, Wasylyshen believes Monday’s sales will ultimately prove strong.

« We think there is cause for optimism and caution that the year will end on a more upbeat note than what we saw for Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. »


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