© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Canadian shopping may slow in Western New York

WBFO File Photo

With Black Friday sales underway, many Canadians, especially those living near the border, are preparing to head south to cash in on some deals. However, the best years of that cross-border shopping may be a thing of the past.

While American retailers welcome those Canadian license plates, their counterparts north of the border fume at the lost business.

On Black Friday weekend and on holidays as many as 40 percent of some malls' parking lots in New York could be holding vehicles from Ontario.

Cross border shopping appears to have soared between 2006 and 2012. According to Statistics Canada, spending by Canadians rose from just under $5 billion to $8 billion  duirng that period.

Canadian retailers have been fighting back over the past couple of years. Now, Black Friday sales ads are becoming just as common in Canada as in the U.S.

Another factor is that there are more American retailers opening stores in Canada.   In addition to Walmart, Target arrived last year with more than 100 stores.Nordstrom opened its first location in Alberta, with plans to open more in Ontario.

The falling Canadian dollar isn't helping either, making those bargains south of the border more expensive, as well as overnight hotel accommodations. If the value drops much further, many Canadians won't see the point in traveling south.

Still thousands will make the pilgrimage. For many, it's become almost a tradition; for others, it's the opportunity to still get some deep discounts, a larger selection and unique items they couldn't find in Canada.

WBFO’s comprehensive news coverage extends into Southern Ontario and Dan Karpenchuk is the station’s voice from the north. The award-winning reporter covers binational issues, including economic trends, the environment, tourism and transportation.