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Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians still have holiday shopping to do

Millennials and men most likely to put off making holiday purchases in the fifth annual CIBC holiday shopping poll

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - With the holiday season in full swing, a CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) poll completed December 15 - just 10 days before the big day - finds that 69 per cent of Canadians have not yet finished their holiday shopping, including 15 per cent who haven't even started.

Millennials, or Canadians aged 18-34, are the biggest procrastinators, with 75 per cent saying they have not finished their shopping. When it comes to those who haven't started their shopping, 18 per cent of men and only 11 per cent of women say they had not bought a single gift yet.

"While Canadians have done a good job so far of keeping their spending in check, with so many still shopping at the last minute, the risk of overspending increases," says Steve Webster, Vice-President, Retail and Business Banking, CIBC. "Although the hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping is part of Canadians' reality, shopping at the last second often forces you to make heat-of-the-moment decisions and go over budget because of the time crunch."

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 69 per cent of Canadians have not finished their holiday shopping
  • Those who have not finished shopping are more likely to overspend, with 20 per cent saying they expect to go over their budget and 24 per cent who did not set a budget
  • So far this holiday season, Canadians have spent an average of $601 on their shopping; an earlier CIBC poll found that Canadians planned to spend an average of $652
    • Last year's poll found Canadians had spent an average of $678
  • Spending varies drastically across the regions, with British Columbians having already spent $871 as of December 15 compared to Quebec where people had only spent $383
  • One-in-four Canadians (23 per cent) opt to not cap their festive spending and have no holiday shopping budget

Beyond gifts, throwing parties derails Canadians' shopping budgets

Beyond buying gifts, 40 per cent of Canadians say buying food and alcohol to entertain family and friends could push them over their shopping limits while 32 per cent say dining out was a factor that could bust the budget.

"It's easy for spending to get out of hand but it can help to keep a tally of your spending as you go to keep things in perspective," says Mr. Webster. "Having a plan for both spending and paying off your bills go hand-in-hand; together they can help ensure that you don't start off the New Year already behind on other savings goals."

How to keep your holiday expenses in check:

  • Track spending - Having the CIBC Mobile Banking app on your phone allows you to check your account balances in seconds, to see what you've spent so far with your CIBC Advantage Debit Card. Also, CIBC CreditSmart allows CIBC credit cardholders to set a budget on each spending category and be notified if they exceed it.
  • Have a repayment plan - For those using their credit card to pay for their holiday purchases, it is important to have a plan in place to pay off the balance as quickly as possible after the holidays to avoid incurring interest charges.
  • Keep up with regular savings - It can be a challenge to stick to your regular financial plan at this time of the year.  Make sure to put money aside towards your financial goals separate from your holiday shopping budget, to keep your longer term plans on track.



Percentage of Canadians who have not finished their holiday shopping, by region:

National 69%
BC 68%
Alberta 65%
Man/Sask 69%
Ontario 69%
Quebec 69%
Atlantic Canada 72%


Percentage of Canadians who have not finished their holiday shopping, by age:

National 69%
18-34 year olds 75%
35-54 year olds 72%
55+ year olds 58%


Percentage of Canadians who have not finished their holiday shopping, by gender:

National 69%
Men 69%
Women 68%


Percentage of Canadians who have not started their holiday shopping, by gender:

National 15%
Men 18%
Women 11%


How much Canadians think they have spent on holiday shopping so far this year, by region:

National $601
BC $871
Alberta $630
Man/Sask $619
Ontario $601
Quebec $383
Atlantic Canada $703


How Canadians' spending compares to their set holiday budgets:

  Finished shopping Not finished shopping
On budget 52% 46%
Under budget 9% 7%
Over budget 15% 20%
Don't know / lost track 3% 3%
Didn't set a budget 22% 24%


From December 14th to 15th, 2015, an online survey was conducted among 1,519 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error - which measures sampling variability - is +/- 2.08 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Capital Markets - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, banking centres and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Media Centre on our corporate website at




For further information:

Olga Petrycki, Director, External Communications, 416-306-9760 or