Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations.
In Canada, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a time where shops have sales, often with dramatic price decreases. For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue.
Many retailers open very early (typically 5 am or even earlier) and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. It is not uncommon for long queues to form early in the morning of 26 December, hours before the opening of shops holding the big sales, especially at big-box consumer electronics retailers. Many stores have a limited quantity of big draw or deeply discounted items.
In recent years, retailers have expanded deals to "Boxing Week." While Boxing Day is 26 December, many retailers who hold Boxing Day Sales will run the sales for several days before or after 26 December, often up to New Year's Eve. Canada's Boxing Day has often been compared with the American Super Saturday, the Saturday before Christmas. In 2009, a number of major Canadian retailers had their own Black Friday promotions to discourage shoppers from crossing the border.
In some areas of Canada, particularly in Atlantic Canada and parts of Northern Ontario (including Sault Ste. Marie), most retailers are prohibited from opening on Boxing Day, either by provincial law or municipal bylaw. In these areas, sales otherwise scheduled for 26 December are moved to the 27th.