cbc.ca (© Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)
Updated: Thu, 26 Dec 2013 11:04:46 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Boxing Day sales draw pre-dawn lineups



Shoppers push through the door of Future Shop for it's 6 am Boxing Day sale opening in Toronto on Wednesday December 26, 2012. Frank Gunn/Canadian Press

Shoppers push through the door of Future Shop for it's 6 am Boxing Day sale opening in Toronto on Wednesday December 26, 2012. Frank Gunn/Canadian Press

After a short reprieve from the frenzy of holiday shopping, stores were luring people back today for Boxing Day bargains.

Hundreds of people waited for the doors to open at 6 a.m. MT at the Future Shop in southeast Calgary, where the price cuts on select items were in the triple digits, in a few cases as much as 75 per cent.

Future Shop and its corporate cousin, Best Buy, opened their doors at 6 in the morning local time at most outlets on Ontario, the Prairies and B.C. The Bay was open at 7 a.m. at most of its locations.

CBC’s Steven Bull said there was a lineup outside Toronto’s downtown Eaton Centre in the early morning when it opened for business.

That's despite the fact many Boxing Day deals can also be had online.

"I heard a big loud cheer erupt from the crowd there," he said.

Bull said retailers in areas of Canada affected by the recent ice storm have high hopes for their post-Christmas sales.   

"It’s important for retailers, especially after the power outages. Some malls were completely without power, and even the ones like the Eaton Centre that had power saw a drop in customers because people couldn’t get out," he said.

"So the Eaton Centre earlier this week was reporting that compared to the same period they were looking at last year, customer traffic was down about 20 per cent."

About 100,000 households and businesses were still without electricity as of 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, in the wake of the freezing rain that brought down trees and power lines in Central and Eastern Canada beginning last weekend.

No Atlantic Canada shopping

There was little of the post-Christmas consumer madness in Atlantic Canada, where most stores are required to stay closed for Boxing Day under provincial law. Shoppers there can still take advantage of discount prices on Friday at many retailers, or in some cases through next week.

Stores in Quebec open at 1 p.m. ET.

Boxing Day is observed mainly in Commonwealth countries and not in the United States, where the biggest retail crazes are on Black Friday in late November. Still, many U.S. merchants offer "day after Christmas" sales.

So far, there have been no reports in Canada of any of the kinds of scuffles that sometimes break out during Black Friday in the U.S.

In Britain, Boxing Day shoppers rushed into malls as soon as they opened to try to beat out other deal hunters.

more video