The Bay Centre has seen a steady increase in holiday shopping since 2018. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Greater Victoria malls see jump in holiday shoppers over last year

More people are heading to stores as the busiest shopping day of the year approaches

Last minute shoppers will want to brace themselves for the insanity of Christmas time at the mall.

Between Victoria’s Bay Centre, Hillside Mall and Mayfair Mall, thousands of shoppers are pouring into stores over the next few days, leading to hectic parking lots and long line ups.

“Between November and December we see a quarter of our annual shoppers,” said Sarah Park, media relations at Mayfair Mall. While exact numbers were not available, Park said the numbers are increasing.

“We’re trending up this year compared to other years,” she said.

ALSO READ: Woman pushing stroller assaulted at Mayfair Shopping Centre

Hillside Mall has also seen long line ups, both from people and puppies and kitties who were ready to see Mr.Claus. While pet photos wrapped up on Dec. 16, Santa photos for people are still available until Dec. 24, including a quiet-time session on Dec. 22 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. for children who may have different sensory needs.

The Bay Centre has seen a steady increase since last year, said general manager Darlene Hollstein. The month of November saw a five per cent increase while the official holiday kickoff, Black Friday, saw a 12 per cent increase over 2018.

“The first weekend into December was very strong as well, though it’s too early for final numbers since now we’re heading to the busiest weekend of the year,” Hollstein said.

Dec. 23 is typically the busiest shopping day of the year, though with this year’s falling on a Monday it’s uncertain how things will go.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

“That’s always the time where it’s not so much about the magic of the year, and more about deadlines,” Hollstein said. “That’s why we installed a really beautiful holiday display on the ground floor to encourage people to slow down and enjoy themselves.”

Hollstein added that while some people shop online, many others still enjoy the instant gratification of having something in hand and knowing it’s right.

“Plus a lot of people are more focused on a new trend of sustainability, and thinking about how they are getting those products.”

All of this means that buyers should beware of the hectic nature of the next few days, and to schedule some extra time for shopping.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Christmas holiday

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read