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Shoppers out in droves on busiest Boxing Day in Ottawa since pandemic

On a mild Boxing Day in Ottawa, shoppers were out looking for deals.

This Boxing Day is expected to be one of the busiest yet, with spending spread out over the holidays as deals start earlier and last longer.

Poras Patel was out Tuesday, with a goal in mind. He was in line early to get his hands on a new gaming headset.

“Saving $110 on it and it’s the last piece,” he said. “There you go!”

He was one of many hunting for deals at Best Buy, as Boxing Day shoppers filled the store, looking to snap up everything from TVs and electronics to cell phones and appliances.

The store’s manager says, just like Black Friday, this Boxing Day is one of the busiest he’s seen since the pandemic.

“We had lineups as soon as we started,” said store leader Hussain Mohammed. “People were coming in and purchasing some great deals, so it was great to see the rush for Boxing Day and it’s been busy ever since.”

And if the packed parking lot at Tanger Outlets was any indicator, it seems to return to in-person shopping is back, with dozens waiting in line at Nike.

“It’s a popular day to come out here and I’m shopping for Air Forces so hopefully we can find them,” one shopper told CTV News Ottawa.

The Retail Council of Canada’s annual shopping survey shows more Canadians are planning to spend more money this year while, at the same time, looking to make every dollar count because of inflation and the rising cost of living.

“What we’re expecting to see is that retailers understood this and so we were seeing deals starting earlier this year and lasting longer,” said Michelle Wasylyshen with the Retail Council of Canada.

Overall, the council says it’s been a strong season for holiday shopping.

And with the mild weather (Ottawa saw a high of 6 C on Tuesday), even those who typically shop online were braving the crowds.

“Normally we shop online, but my daughter went to Lululemon and said it’s amazing so that’s why we came back,” one shopper said.

Others were happy to spend time with friends and family, even if shopping wasn’t on the list.

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