WATCH: Back to school spending is on the rise but is the new child tax benefit spurring shopping sprees? Tess van Straaten takes a look.
The countdown to class is on.
And with just a few days of summer vacation left, Victoria malls are packed as kids and parents rush to get their back to school shopping done.
Business is booming and retailers say sales are up and things are a lot busier than last year.
“Yes, it’s definitely a lot busier this year,” says Savannah Peak of Urban Behaviour at Mayfair Mall. “We’ve been able to get a lot more shipments in and we’re getting a lot more in because it’s been going so fast.”
Back to school spending is forecast to be up across the country this year with British Columbia leading the pack.
It’s expected parents will shell out, on average, $500 per child on clothing, shoes and school supplies.
Canada’s newly revamped child tax benefit — which means more money for most families — was expected to spur the spending this year.
Families can get up to $6,400 a year for children under six and up to $5,400 for each child between 6 and 17.
But many of the people we talked to at Victoria’s Mayfair Mall said they’re watching their spending and those that were spending more said it wasn’t because of more money from the government.
“Not really — they need it whether they get a benefit or not,” one parent told CHEK News.
“We’ll probably spend more but not because of that,” another shopper told CHEK. “My daughter has twins so it’s double the expenses!”