Boxing Day – Worth It?

boxing day blog


On December 26, malls and shopping areas are swarmed with a sea of thirsty shoppers intent on finding the best deals and priced steals offered.

The statutory holiday observed in Canada, the UK, and Commonwealth countries around the world originated from the British custom of tradespeople collecting “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas. An even older English tradition that birthed the Christmas box were the boxes of gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food given to servants of the wealthy who helped their lords and masters with Christmas dinner the day before.


Blog TO Chris VP
(photo from Blog TO, photographer Chris VP)


Throughout the years this exchange was transformed by a consumer-driven society into a day of mass buying at discounted prices. As both a way for retailers to garner higher end-of-year sales and empty their stores of old stock, Boxing Day became a day of mass consumerism with stores slashing prices for the mobs of shoppers. During the recession, the single-day event was expanded into a week-long sale with many retailers opening earlier and closing later with door crasher prices to reward the “Early Birds.”

Until several years ago, Boxing Day was acknowledged as being the best sale day in Canada. With the introduction of Black Friday a couple of years ago, that perspective has skewed. Although the deals on Boxing Day are slightly better than Black Friday, many consumers that have been polled feel that they will find better deals on the new Thanksgiving weekend sale.

Colliers International reports that “the lowest prices of the year have been traditionally found at Boxing Day or Boxing Week sales immediately following Christmas.” According to the report, the average discount is 31% off sale items.


(Photo from CHUM FM)
(Photo from CHUM FM)


But with an increase of competitive sales throughout the year, consumers are beginning to feel that their idea of what is a good deal has changed (CBC). And with lack-lustre sales in the past few years, many shoppers are considering staying home.

The actual savings on Boxing Day are debatable. Most sale items are old-stock that is being cleared out, and for many big-ticket items like furniture, cars, and televisions, there are better times of year for discounted prices. The long line-ups, wild mobs, and competitive shopping experience that December 26th is known for, make one wonder if shopping on Boxing Day is really worth it.

Our opinion? If something you want or need is on sale, get it. If you don’t want to deal with hordes of aggressive shoppers, go online for your deals. If you are an avid Boxing Day shopper who revels in the madness, embrace it.

Let us know if you shopped on Boxing Day and if you thought it was worth it!