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Holiday season under inflation: stick to your budget and spend little, but better

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec10,2023

Holiday time under inflation: respect your budget and spend little, but better

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British Columbia residents are expected to spend around $860 on holiday shopping, compared to the national average of $898, according to survey results from the Retail Council of Canada. (Archive photo)

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As markets conducive to holiday shopping multiply, in Vancouver as elsewhere, buyers and merchants have changed their consumption habits in times of inflation.

The climate affects because it's still raining a lot today, exclaims with a smile Jacky Essombe, the founder of the African Friendship Society organization, for justify the lack of attendance at the African Christmas market on Saturday.

A few people still made the trip, welcomed by the infectious good humor of the traders who filled the space. Their mission: to find a gift that will light up the face of a loved one.

This year, however, many consumers' budgets are tight. This is the case of Vancouverite Oriol Moalem, who scrupulously respects the budget he set with his partner. The father, who walks the aisles of the African Christmas market for the first time, would have liked to have had the opportunity to spend more.

According to the results of a survey conducted by the Retail Council of Canada (New window), 88% of Canadians surveyed plan to be more vigilant in their purchases this year.

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This is also an observation shared by certain traders at the African Christmas market, such as Yousra Bouhali, founder of Sentel Beauty. I find that people are more careful about what they spend, it has to be something they really like and it has to be useful too.

For DKM House Oils founder Rege Marina Moussounda, it’s all about adaptation. With inflation, we traders are also really trying to adapt our market. However, she admits that it is necessary to find a happy medium between avoiding increasing the price of its products, without undercutting the price too much.

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The owner of Traditions Pralines, Bernard Marchetti, also notices changes in habits: They are more careful about how they spend their money and, as a result, it changes the dynamic, people are a little more restrained.

Despite these hazards, the manager of Maison Côté Vancouver, a food seasoning manufacturer, Jean-Pierre Côté, believes that consumers' wallets will continue to support the region's artisans. People dig into their pockets and cheer for the locals. All farmers markets and Christmas markets are increasing. People take care of us, we feel it.

For her part, Jackie Essombe chooses to see a bright future despite the downpours that fall outside. People should still find their way, even if prices increase, it's only slightly because we're all in the same boat, and we also understand it's up to us to help each other.

With information from Catherine Dib

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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