TORONTO - Bargain hunters across the country are expected to come out in droves Monday for the annual Boxing Day sales, capping off the busy holiday shopping season.
Several big chains and malls will be opening early to lure eager shoppers.
In past years some have lined up for hours in order to score a deal.
Big-ticket items and electronics typically draw the biggest crush and stores such as Best Buy and Future Shop are warning customers to brace for a frenzy inside.
Many chains have already started their sales online, some of them as early as Christmas Eve _ a trend that began several years ago.
Some experts suggest that could lead to thinner crowds on Boxing Day, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
But they still expect a good turnout, noting most people get a thrill out of scouring the shelves in person.
"The fact is the shopping experience is highly pleasurable to a huge segment of the population," says retailing expert Andrij Myroslaw Brygidyr, a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management.
In the end, retailers don't care whether customers shop online or in stores "as long as the money comes in," he says.
Stores make the bulk of their sales _ up to 80 per cent in some cases _ during the holiday season, he says.