Consumer's Revenge

Consumer’s Revenge

After two years of the pandemic, Quebecers rushed to the doors of businesses as soon as Boxing Day opened. Inflation, strong as it is, has not dampened their enthusiasm.

• Read also: Boxing Day: The best discounts

Consumers showed up early Monday morning in front of this Best Buy store in Center Laval.

Photo Martin Alarie

Consumers showed up early Monday morning in front of this Best Buy store in Center Laval.

“When I arrived at noon, there were lines at both doors, inside and outside. When we opened them at 1 pm, it was “get out of here!” It must have been three good years since we last saw that,” exclaimed Benoît Trépanier, director of Sports Experts at Galeries Rive-Nord in Repentigny.

With the economic situation, people expected discounts, he believes.

“Many of the items we offer are essential. Winter boots, if you need them, you need them. A coat is the same. Inflation or not, there will be winter”, says Mr. Trépanier.

Benoit Trépanier, director of Sport Experts.

Photo David Descoteaux

Benoit Trépanier, director of Sport Experts.

At Quebec City’s Galeries de la Capitale, consumers had to be patient to take advantage of the much-anticipated discounts. The newspaper it took a total of 45 minutes to get out of the crowded parking lot in the afternoon.

Michel Cloutier was one of the first clients of the Galeries de la Capitale Best Buy.  He finally left with a television.

Photo Agency QMI, Marcel Tremblay

Michel Cloutier was one of the first clients of the Galeries de la Capitale Best Buy. He finally left with a television.

“We came to use the gift cards my children received for Christmas and buy them discounted winter clothing. But I limit myself. Inflation is hurting this year”, explains Julie Dubé, who left the mall with her arms full of bags.

The spent “legal check”

Faced with traffic, many have decided to turn back before even having crossed the doors of certain businesses. Others, like Frédéric Dignard, found themselves stuck in queues in spite of themselves.


Photo Agency QMI, Marcel Tremblay

“We have no other choice, we must exchange [une paire de souliers]. We didn’t expect there to be such a long line! she rants, walking like a crane about twenty meters from the Nike at the Galeries de la Capitale.

At Best Buy in Mascouche, Marc Latendresse sees things differently: “I come to enjoy the atmosphere, not necessarily to shop. I find that we are in a consumer society, we create needs, ”he believes.

“There is a fever, a lot of people, and there are good offers, it’s true,” he adds.

Marc Latendresse came for the atmosphere above all.

Photo David Descoteaux

Marc Latendresse came for the atmosphere above all.

The atmosphere reminds you of memories when, when you were younger, you would come with your children.

“At Christmas, we gave them money and on Boxing Day, we came to spend it, we didn’t wait,” recalls Mr. Latendresse.

Are you here to spend your famous “legal check” that all Quebecers have recently received?

“It’s been a long time already!” Easy comes, easy (Le)ve he says jokingly.

At Best Buy on Mascouche, despite the crowd inside, it wasn’t more than two minutes before a salesperson approached us and offered to help us.

In the corridors of giant televisions, telephone accessories or in front of an electric scooter, there was no need to look for employees in blue shirts.

“Here at Mascouche, there must be 70 employees on the floor right now. Usually on a normal Saturday it is less than half. In our Sainte-Catherine street store, there were 100 employees this morning! says Thierry Lopez, Director of Marketing and Corporate Affairs in Quebec for Best Buy.

informed consumers

People are becoming more informed, he says.

“With us, 93% of the people who came today visited our website before. People buy online earlier and know the prices. They know when it’s a good deal or not. So they come,” says Mr. López.

And why not order online, from the comfort of your home?

“Some do, but it’s a social activity, Boxing Day. People like to go shopping. In addition, we are coming out of two years of pandemic. People like to touch the products, walk the aisles, meet other people. We see many families today, even if it is -7 degrees and it is snowing ”, describes Thierry Lopez.

back to reality

Despite inflation and debt overhang, the post-Christmas madness will continue, says one expert.

“Boxing Day is in tradition. it’s folklore. People go to Montreal, if only for the atmosphere. It’s a bit like the continuation of the party of [la veille]. It is no longer the same as before, but there are people who go to Rue Sainte-Catherine for the Christmas spirit,” said Benoit Duguay, tenured professor at the École des sciences de la gestión de la UQAM, on the LCN channel.

Some Quebecers even seem to ditch their computers to shop directly in stores.

“For several months there has been a drop in online sales,” underlines the expert.

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