When Is Boxing Day?
Boxing Day is on the 26th December each year, the day following Christmas. The Canadian public/statutory holiday is generally taken on the first weekday after Christmas.
What does Boxing Day mean?
The term Boxing Day dates back to 1833, when it was first brought into common usage, likely in England, UK. The holiday derives from the practice of gift-giving to tradesmen and service workers and the poorer classes, on the day after Christmas. The gift boxes often contained foodstuffs and items to help the families.
Nowadays, the majority of gift-giving is done on Christmas Day rather than Boxing Day, but the public holiday still remains in action to this day.
Boxing Day Sales in Canada
Boxing Day is one of the biggest shopping days of the year in Canada, rivalling Black Friday in the US. In 2011, Boxing Day sales were the biggest money-maker for many merchants, with a definite increase in sales from Christmas 2010.
However, the Boxing sales don’t just happen on the 26th of December. Many retailers extend their sales to the first week in January of the following year – known as the Boxing Week sales. However, the best bargains and door-crasher deals tend to happen on the 26th only, as there are limited quantities available.
Boxing Week sales may be on any item, but the most notable discounts tend to be on big-ticket items such as consumer electronics.
When do the Boxing Day sales start in-store?
For shoppers in-store in Canada, Boxing Day sales usually start early in the morning on the 26th December, and the store hours may vary depending on the retailer. Some stores opt to open at 5am or 6am, and often have queues of expectant shoppers waiting at the door. According to CBC news, the first shopper arrived to the Yorkdale Future Shop at 1am on Boxing Day morning, Christmas 2011.
When do the Boxing Day sales start for online shoppers?
For online shoppers, the start of the Boxing Day sales also vary store by store. Many of the big brand names are taking the opportunity to start their online sales a few days before Christmas, with the likes of The Source and Best Buy opening their virtual doors for online shoppers on Christmas Eve, 24th December 2011. The Vancouver Sun claims that cyber-shopping beats the lineups for the Boxing Day sales.
How to get the best Boxing Day deals
1. If there are specific door-crasher deals that you really want, you may have to queue outside the store in the early hours of the morning. As quantities are limited, sometimes the store gives out tickets or armbands to the first X customers, to make sure people get what they’ve been waiting on.
2. Subscribe to all the email newsletter of your favourite stores. They will email you about all the best deals and let you know when their offers are happening online. You can instantly buy online, saving you the hassle of queuing at the stores in the cold weather, and potentially getting better deals as you can use coupon codes and discounts online, likely getting free shipping too. It is recommend that you use a throwaway email address for this purpose, so you can easily scan all the best deals and discounts, keeping it separate from your main email.
3. Monitor internet forums and website in Canada that search and compile all the best Canadian boxing day deals. Do a google search for the relevant topics and your favourite brands and you should be able to keep up to date with all the latest offers.
Boxing Day 2011 Notes
According to CTV news, many Canadian stores experienced a barrage of customers on Boxing Day 2011, so it will always be recommended to shop early for the 2014 Boxing Day sales.
A professor from the Telfer School of Management, Michael Mulvey, states that Boxing Day shoppers usually have a certain mentality, a focus on buying presents for themselves.
“Boxing Day in contrast is sort of ‘me’ focused… it’s almost like people take out their Christmas wish list and they’re going to go out and fill in the blanks.”
 Merriam Webster Dictionary, accessed 23rd April 2012
 Reference.com, accessed 23rd April 2012
 Factmonster.com, accessed 23rd April 2012
 ‘Bah, Humbug!’ to Shopper Fatigue: Nearly One-quarter of Canadians Will Be Shopping This Boxing Day, 19th December 2011
 CBC news, 26th December 2011
 Vancouver Sun, 27th December 2011
 CTV news, 26th December 2011