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

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

Langford businesses can expand onto sidewalks, public spaces

Council passes new bylaw supporting business expansion

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read