Best Buy shoppers look to take advantage of Black Friday deals at The Toronto Eaton Centre.

Black Friday shopping fever comes north of the border

It’s official, Black Friday is becoming a Canadian retail tradition.

The shopping phenomenon, traditionally held in the U.S. the day after Thanksgiving, has made its way past the Canadian border.

Many Canadian retailers across the country are slashing prices on big-ticket items such as electronics.

But is it enough to sway cross-border shoppers?

Communications Manager for Best Buy, Danielle Jang says Black Friday is becoming more popular with Canadian consumers and matching the sales north of the border will keep shoppers from heading south of the border.

“I think Canadian retailers are looking to provide a great experience for Canadian consumers, we want to show them that we have some great deals here as well,” Jang said.

A recent report released by BMO says nearly half of Canadian consumers are planning to shop on Black Friday, which is up 15 per cent from just last year.

For Ontario, the BMO study found 55 per cent of Ontarians plan to take advantage on discounted items, spending an average of $300 during the sales blitz.

The Toronto Eaton Centre was the only mall to open their doors at 6 a.m. and there was a good flow of shoppers in the early hours.

Shopper George Smith took advantage of the sales and picked up an iPad mini for his daughter.

“It was an opportunity, my daughter wanted an iPad mini and I was able to save $50 today,” Smith said.

Eaton Centre’s Best Buy General Manager, Jason Sant says there were approximately 100 people waiting outside their doors before they swung open.

“So far tablets and televisions of all different kinds have been big sellers. For instance the Surface is $150 off today,” Sant said.

According to Jang such sales could be convenient for Canadian shoppers leading into the holiday season.

“For electronics specifically, if something happens to them you can take them right back to the store and the warranties are valid here.  What if something happens with a product you purchased in the U.S.?  Then you need to go back…” Jang said.

Sant also sees the advantages of promoting Black Friday here at home.

“It’s our third year doing it and our second year highly promoting it, Sant said. As we saw the success of it in the U.S, why let our shoppers go down south on Black Friday when they can spend their money here.”

Black Friday sales continue till 9:30 p.m. tonight at The Eaton Centre with certain retailers extending discounts till December 1.