Small Business Merchants Rushed to Banks While Canadian Athletes Went On Bagging Golds
March 05, 2010
The recently published Moneris Solutions’ Vancouver 2010 spending data revealed that while Canada as a nation was taken by the Olympic fever, consumers were bitten by the shopping bug.
Sales increased by 48 percent during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
This year’s winter Olympics clearly belonged to the Canadians. While Canadian athletes kept themselves busy with collecting gold medals, celebrating their Olympic glory, Canada’s small merchants ran all the way to bank smiling -- thanks to the spending spree of Canadian as well as overseas visitors during the games.
Moneris, one of North America’s largest providers of payment processing solutions, gave an account of the impressive spending by the local and overseas consumers during the games. The credit, debit, wireless and online payment services provider for merchants revealed that consumers spend 48 percent more than they did during same period last year. The 17-day extravaganza saw a dramatic influx in the numbers of shopaholics. Moneris data established beyond doubt that small merchants all over Canada, especially in Vancouver and Whistler were well equipped to take the pressure of increased number of buyers during the event.
Moneris Solutions’ Vancouver 2010 spending data compared retail sales in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., from February 12-28, 2010 with retail sales in the same area from February 13-March 1, 2009.
The data took into consideration, all merchant categories, excluding gas merchants. It included in its estimation, the dollar value as well as the number of transactions made on Moneris Solutions debit and credit card terminals, representing the largest number across the country.
Here are the key findings of Moneris Solutions data.
* Souvenir sales increased almost four times (373 percent) over the same period last year, while bars and pubs saw a 130 percent increase in transactions
* Spectators and visitors sported new clothing, with 98 percent more men’s and women’s apparel transactions processed compared to last year.
* International shoppers spent their way to 22 percent of all transactions
* Canadians were by far the biggest purchasers, accounting for 78.4 percent of total spending, while our U.S. neighbours accounted for 9.15 percent of total spending-
* Internationally, China took the spending gold (3.5 percent) with an average transaction size of $423. Russia took silver (1.37 percent) with $236 per transaction, while Japan took bronze (0.95%) with $89 per transaction. Switzerland came in fifth (after Australia) yet beat Japan’s average with $140 per transaction.
Interestingly, timing proved a big factor in Olympic-related spending. For example, on the very day that Alexandre Bilodeau skied his way to Canada’s first gold medal, merchants celebrated a whopping 117 percent jump in transactions. The day that Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won gold, merchants celebrated a 127 percent increase in transactions.
And as the nation held its collective breath during the men’s gold medal hockey game - possibly the highlight event of the Games for Canadians - spending was down a whopping 41 percent compared to the same timeslot of the previous five days.
David Ades, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Moneris Solutions maintains that it was a success of the small merchants across Canada and they well deserved it. With the increased use of chip cards and mobile pay-at-the-table technology, the merchants proved that “they were ready for all the actions.”
“Canadians and international visitors demonstrated their pride by supporting not only their favorite athletes but also local shops, restaurants and attractions,” Ades said. “Merchants displayed outstanding commitment to service and sales by prepping their businesses for the event. They adjusted their hours of operation, brought in additional inventory and staff to meet demand, and processed credit and debit card transactions quickly and efficiently despite heavy traffic. Based on the outstanding spending results, it was certainly a gold-medal performance for everyone.”
Madhubanti Rudra is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Marisa Torrieri