Canadians Slowing Down on Cross-Border Shopping, Survey Finds

Positive news for Canadian retailers as higher exchange rate, convenience curb appeal of US shopping

Canadians are not flocking over the border as much as last year, according to a recent cross-border shopping survey by leading marketing research firm GfK. Deterred by higher US exchange rates, Canadians are less willing to make the drive, despite the wider product selections available stateside. 

Only 1 in 4 Canadians went cross-border shopping in the past 12 months, with the majority (64%) citing the higher exchange rate as the top reason for not making the trip this year. A distant second reason for the cross-border decline is Canadians being tighter on their budgets (16%).

Despite 44% agreeing that Canadian factory outlet malls are not as price competitive as those in the US, despite the exchange rate, shopping at Canadian outlet malls continues to rise. Four in ten (41%) of Canadians surveyed prefer to shop at Canadian factory outlet malls versus those in the US, with more than half (57%) having shopped at a Canadian factory outlet mall in the past 12 months alone.

Among those who did not cross-border shop in the past 12 months, the reasons were:

* 21% said they live too far from border

* 16%  prefer to support local retailers

* 15% said the cost savings was not as great when you factor in the cost of travel

* 14% said the cost savings was not great when factoring in the exchange rate14% said the cost savings was not great when factoring in the exchange rate

Shopping preferences for US and Canadian retailers remain relatively evenly split; however 35% have revealed they are spending less on US retailers and spending more on Canadian retailers instead.


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