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

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

Local MLA Adam Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip Nation, here seen before the 2020 provincial election, said a new report finding “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system does not surprise Indigenous people. (Hansard TV)
MLA, Tsartlip member says ‘silo’ approach won’t work dealing with racism in health care

Adam Olsen calls for comprehensive approach in dealing with systemic racism

The president and chief executive officer of BC Ferries promises additional reviews to help sustain BC Ferries. (Black Press Media File)
BC Ferries to review expenditures following 43 per cent passenger drop in 2020

Promise from CEO follows new figures showing significant decline in passengers

A man was issued a $230 fine after refusing to wear a mask inside a Central Saanich business. (Central Saanich Police Services/Twitter)
Man issued fine after refusing to mask up in Central Saanich business

$230 ticket issued under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

Teagan Hunt (Grade 12) and Aiden Grew (Grade 11) are the 2020 winners of Lambrick Park’s annual Queen & King of the Hill demanding race up Mount Doug’s Churchill Drive. (Photo courtesy of Tom Turnbull)
Lambrick King of the Hill wins Cedar Hill time trial

Aiden Grew sets course record for gruelling King of the Hill run

The University of Victoria will mark the eighth annual Giving Tuesday with its Add Sprinkles campaign which collects funds to support various student initiatives across campus. (Photo courtesy UVic Photo Services)
Nearly 150 Greater Victoria groups prepare for eighth annual Giving Tuesday

Last year Canadians raised nearly $22 million in 24 hours

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Most Read