Shoppers hunt for bargains amid cost-of-living crisis

Adidas and Hershel’s sale offered 75 per cent off on the thousands of articles on Wednesday. All Adidas shoes were available for $50 per pair. (Photo by Sumeet Singh/The Press)

People resorted to purchasing the essentials online during the pandemic and, after almost two years from the pandemic, it has become a habit.

Now, inflation has made people think before spending their money and looking for big discounts on clothes and accessories.

“We are more seeking sales or not paying like the original price,” college student Richard Pastores, a college student said.

Last month, Style Democracy arranged a warehouse sale in Calgary from May 10 to 14  in collaboration with prominent brands like Hershel Supply Co. and Adidas.

Long lineups were witnessed on all days and the doors even had to be closed hours early before the closing time due to the rush.

People in the queue waited roughly 90 minutes before the gates opened during the warehouse sale at the BMO Centre. The sale was closed early on the first day because of higher-then-expected sales. (Photo by Sumeet Singh/The Press)

“These types of events are attracting more and more people,” said Dean Petruk, head of operations at Style Democracy. “We had an ideal sale in Vancouver, and we actually sold that merchandise a day early.

“We didn’t open the last day, which is pretty incredible.”

The rising cost of living has affected the decision of consumers to buy luxury items or leisure clothes. The annual average inflation rate for the Calgary region in 2022 was 7.2 per cent — the highest annual inflation rate since 1982.

Albertans paid 4.3 per cent more in April 2023 for the goods and services that comprise the Consumer Price Index than in the same month a year ago.

The warehouse sale of Adidas and Hershel’s in Calgary offered about 75 per cent off on thousands of shoes, apparel, and other fashion articles.

“Just because of the inflation and whatnot and people don’t have jobs,” says Pastores. “So it’s definitely  a good thing if they’re just going for a sale like this.”

Especially for students, the higher cost of living can be a huge problem for people who don’t have a lot of financial support in big cities like Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver.

“There’s like a huge price hike for women clothes that I do not appreciate,” said Alexa Cruz, a student at SAIT.

The Worldwide eCommerce Revenue Forecast showed an increase of 19 per cent worldwide in e-commerce revenue between pre-and-post-pandemic timeframes in 2020.

“I think everybody’s looking for value and the industry coming out of the COVID, and the distribution channels and manufacturing all had really difficult times,” said Petruk.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) has reported that the COVID crisis has forced many small businesses to reassess their decades-old traditional business models or face closing permanently.

Nordstrom, the luxury department-store chain, is closing all their stores in Canada this year.

Marcus Oldham , a government employee, is affected much by inflation but likes to get good value for products. (Photo by Sumeet Singh/The Press)

“We also made the difficult decision to wind down operations in our Canadian business,” Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer of Nordstrom Inc., said in a statement. “This will enable us to simplify our operations and further increase our focus on driving long-term profitable growth in our core U.S. business.”

Different new tools are used by public to buy used or new items. Facebook Marketplace is one of the most used applications in online shopping.

“Malls and shopping patterns overall probably have shifted,”  Marcus Oldham, a government employee, said as he looked through a stack of Hershel bags. ” There was a huge Amazon boom — people probably got more shopping online,”

Data from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s internet factbook reveal that clothing, household goods and show/game tickets are among the commodities most commonly purchased online.

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Source: Statistics Canada

About half of the Canadian shoppers have sought sales and promotions when looking to buy something new.

“There are alternatives like mass production brands like Shein,” Cruz said.  “I do not want to be part of that because i know that it’s not sustainable.”




About Sumeet Singh Sidhu 7 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Sumeet Singh Sidhu is working as a writer for The Press in 2023.