Surviving Boxing Day in Calgary

Chinook Tory Burch
Chinook Tory Burch
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Surviving Boxing Day in Calgary

Conquer sales during Black Friday, Boxing Day, and Boxing Week with these helpful tips.
Tanisha Cherry

In Calgary, the holiday season is about festive parties and spending time with your loved ones, finally breaking those 2018 diet resolutions to indulge in delicious comfort food and, of course, shopping the season’s sales! 

The two biggest back to back shopping dates of the year approach at the end of every year. The thought alone can be overwhelming, but the key is to prepare. In the words of Will Smith, if you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready

Follow along while I share with you some tips to surviving Black Friday and Boxing day in Calgary.

Saks Fifth Avenue CF Chinook Centre

Stop by Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Chinook Centre and hunt for high end savings

Where to get started

If you don’t know what exactly to buy but want to take advantage of great deals, start at the mall. CF Chinook Centre should be your first stop for all your fashion purchases because it houses various trendy retailers such as Zara, Top Shop, Urban Outfitters, and Lexington Ave. They are also home to high end department stores Nordstroms and Saks Fifth Avenue. When you start to feel tired and peckish, take a break in their newly renovated dining hall. It features expanded and redesigned seating, renovated washrooms and four brand new restaurants.

CrossIron Mills

CrossIron Mills is a great place for bargains on Black Friday and during Boxing week (photo: Kelly Hofer)

If you’re staying downtown, be sure to check out the CORE shopping centre, which is right in the middle of Stephen Avenue. There, you’ll find flagship stores like Holt Renfrew and can get some escape from the hustle and bustle of shopping at Devonian Gardens – an indoor city park that feels like an oasis. If it’s sales you’re seeking, head out to the north end of town and visit CrossIron Mills, which is an outlet paradise. CF Market Mall is also a great option to visit if you’re in the northwest side of the city for big brands and a comfortable experience on one level.

Another must stop is Southcentre, which has the only Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware in Calgary and also the biggest Beauty Boutique by Shoppers Drug Mart. If you’re bringing the kiddies along, there is the Roar! Play Park for ages 1-11 years old. Keep an eye on @Southcentremall social media accounts for special day-of promotions. They are very active online and advertise promotions as early as a few weeks’ ahead of Black Friday. As an added bonus, Homesense, Winners, Nordstroms Rack, and Marshalls are all a 10 minute drive away, making the mall a great basecamp for other destinations like Deerfoot Meadows.

gravity pope

Follow neighbourhoods like 17th Avenue on Instagram to get the inside scoop of sales happening in shopping districts

southcentre mall

Bring your kids to Southcentre, where there is a great play park for kids up to 11 years old

Tips to keep in mind as you plan

Here are more tips to make the most out of your Boxing Day and Black Friday shopping experience:

  • Stick to your budget. Going into overdraft after the holidays is not cute.
  • For my shoppers on a mission, Make a list and prioritize your purchases in your phone of what you want and where you can get it.
  • Visit the retailers before the big day to find out their Black Friday/Boxing day promotions. To cut time in the store the day of :
    • Try on all clothing items, take a picture, and note the size.
    • Speak with a sale representative about any questions you may have about electronics and/or home related items.
    • Sign up for store loyalty programs, newsletters, and store credit card for exclusive offers, coupons, and discounts. For example, TJX Canada STYLE+ loyalty members receive special offers that include early shopping access and lengthy return times. Nordstrom ‘Nordy Club’ members earn points toward Nordstrom Notes every time they shop at Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack stores in Canada.
  • Follow + turn on post notifications for these local accounts on Instagram: The @17thavesw, @downtowncalgary@inglewoodyyc, @kensingtonYYC, @vicparkyyc, @4thstreetcalgary,  and @visitmardaloop BIAs represent a large number of merchants and restaurants in Calgary. Keep up to date on sales in their area throughout the day.
  • Dress comfy. Leave the heavy coats in the car so you don’t overheat. Trade the big purse for a fanny pack or a cross body bag. 
  • Eat breakfast that morning + stay hydrated. Be good to your body and it will be good to you.  You will need all your energy to carry heavy shopping pages store to store and to stand for long periods of time.. 
  • Plan your route the night before. Leave early to allow time to safely arrive at your destination before the store opens and to find good parking. 
  • Bring a Friend (who isn’t shopping). A friend can help you get through your list faster, jump start waiting in line, help carry your items, and help pass the time faster.

The goal is to shop champagne taste within a beer budget. Beat Black Friday and Boxing day shopping, don’t let it beat you. Happy Shopping!