During the period of November 27 - December 17, 2012, the amount of dollars spent online jumped by 16.89 per cent, compared to the November 29 - December 19, 2011 period, with apparel leading the growth (with a 32.70 per cent increase in spending). Additionally, Canadians continued to embrace the spirit of giving to the less fortunate during this period, with an increase in charitable donations of 6.7 per cent.
Regionally, Alberta showed the strongest growth in the fourth quarter, with an increase in spending of 6.45 per cent, compared to last year, followed closely by Newfoundland, at 6.42 per cent. Saskatchewan, Quebec and Ontario experienced moderate growth, with increases in spending of 4.35 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 2.66 per cent, respectively. Prince Edward Island showed the slowest growth in the country, ending the quarter with a 1.01 per cent increase in spending.
As in previous years, many Canadians waited until the last minute to make their holiday purchases. Shoppers came out in full force on the 24 th of December and Moneris processed a record 453 transactions per second between 2:20 p.m. and 2:25 p.m. EST. December 21st was the biggest Canadian shopping day in 2012 in terms of total number of purchases made.
Camera stores, travel and pet stores led the spending growth during Boxing Week, with increases in dollars spent of 23.61 per cent, 19.32 per cent and 15.42 per cent, respectively. Similar to 2011, consumer electronics purchases were down during Boxing Week in 2012 (by -14.83 per cent), which may be the result of the growing success of pre-holiday sales, like those offered on Black Friday.