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Local retailers missing Black Friday opportunity to attract US shoppers

(iStock Photo)

One expert say the low loonie presents Canadian retailers with the chance to bolster sales

You're encouraged to do your research online and in store before buying anything on Black Friday

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It is still officially one day away and already many shoppers are focused on Black Friday deals. However, a local retail analyst says many Canadian businesses are missing out on an opportunity to capitalize on the annual shopping frenzy.

“The biggest change that we’re seeing right now is the opportunity for Canadian retailers to be selling to Americans,” says David Ian Gray with Vancouver-based DIG360. “But what’s interesting for me is, I don’t know how many Canadian retailers are catching on to this.”

And that is because of the current exchange rate. The Canadian dollar is trading at around $0.74 US. “Suddenly, there is an economic opportunity to sell to American shoppers not only in your stores but through the Internet,” says Gray.

But many store owners don’t seem to realize the opportunity at hand. “I think most Canadian retailers have been worried about global retail shipping to Canadians who are buying from the web but suddenly there is an opportunity to get their web game up in Canada and to appeal to American consumers, taking advantage of the exchange rate opportunity they have,” explains Gray.

And it’s not as if it’s just a day or two worth of sales. “It really has become Black Friday month. The whole event of Black Friday in Canada has become quite watered down in the last year. And this will continue to occur in the years ahead where the promotions are beginning in early November and running right through the season,” says Gray.

If you are planning to brave the crowds on either side of the border, one expert suggests doing your homework. Mike Yawney with Breakfast Television on City says a lot of the phones, TVs and tablets up for grabs aren’t this year’s models and are likely on sale because they’re not selling.

Yawney says there are still some good deals on electronics south of the border, but you can get a bargain here if you do some research.