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Boxing Day will be big shopping day

 A new survey from the Bank of Montreal suggests 62 per cent of Canadians plan to shop on Boxing Day.

One-in-five, or 22 per cent, said they plan to shop for themselves, while 34 per cent said they will buy items for both themselves and others.

The bank said Alberta will see the most spending activity today, with 76 per cent of respondents saying they plan to buy Boxing Day bargains. Atlantic Canada is next at 72 per cent, followed by Ontario at 69 per cent.

Quebec is expected to see the lightest Boxing Day shopping, with just 36 per cent of respondents to the bank survey saying they plan to shop today.

The survey also found that men are more likely than woman to take advantage of Boxing Day sales at a rate of 66 per cent versus 58 per cent.

The bank's vice president said Wednesday many Canadians view Boxing Day as a shopping holiday on par with the U.S.'s Black Friday, which takes place the day after American Thanksgiving.

But Su McVey warned even bargain-priced purchases can strain the pocketbook if shoppers get carried away.

"Given that the majority of Canadians plan to spend during this period, it's essential that Boxing Day spending is accounted for in the overall household holiday spending budget and not treated as a financial afterthought," she said in a statement.

Overall, said the bank, Canadians plan to spend an average of $1,610 on the holidays this year while retailers rake in almost $60 billion.

The survey of 1,000 Canadians was conducted between Oct. 11 and 16.

The results are considered accurate plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

The Canadian Press

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