As large chain retailers prepare for Black Friday, so do locally-owned businesses in downtown Victoria.

“Originally when Black Friday¬†migrated up to Canada, [large chain businesses] is certainly where we saw the initial uptake,” said Jeff Bray, the executive director of Downtown Victoria Business Association. “But in fact, you see a lot of our retailers now looking for those opportunities to attract those customers in.”

One of those locally-owned businesses is Robinson’s Outdoor Store. It’s been around for decades but this year marks their first-ever Black Friday sale.

“If you pick up your phone or anywhere you see that there’s Black Friday sales everywhere,” said Erin Boggs, co-owner of Robinson’s Outdoor Store. “So we really want to step up to the plate and also play in that market share.”

It’s an opportunity for Victorians to spend their money locally and get the same discounts that they would get from bigger chain stores.

“Whenever people shop local, it keeps all that economic activity right here in our community,” said Bray.

Black Friday will be one of the busiest shopping days of the year and many Canadians across the country are going to participate.

“The numbers I’ve seen, they’re upwards of 43 per cent of Canadians buy things on Black Friday,” said Brock Smith, a professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Victoria.

Smith noted, however, this statistic is not significant compared to the United States, where consumers spend hundreds of billions of dollars during the holiday season.

“In Canada, the discounts are not as deep as we see in the U.S.,” Smith explained. “So you know we’re typically seeing 20-25 per cent, 30 per cent off. We’re not seeing the 50, 60, 70 per cent off that you might get in the U.S.”

Smith noted this may be because Canadians have an extra day of discounts that Americans don’t: Boxing Day.

Jasmine Bala