Majority of Lower Mainland residents drive to U.S. regularly
A large majority of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley residents regularly cross the border to shop in the U.S., according to a new poll.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents to the Insights West poll said they drove across the border to shop in the last year and many are making frequent forays for cross-border shopping.
On average, those polled drove to the U.S. more than five times in the past year, about half had crossed three or more times and a sizable minority of 15 per cent said they’d crossed 13 times or more.
Cross-border trips are becoming more common, the poll shows, finding 21 per cent say they are crossing more often, while 12 per cent are going less often and the remaining two-thirds are unchanged.
Lower prices for the same products in the U.S. were the top reason for trips over the line, cited by 85 per cent of those polled.
Buying gas was the most popular purchase – 89 per cent said they’d fuel up either regularly or occasionally on trips to the U.S. – but clothing, shoes and accessories (81 per cent) and groceries (78 per cent) were also among the spending leaders.
About 70 per cent of those polled agree Canadians shopping in the U.S. hurts the local B.C. economy, and about half agreed it may mean job losses here.
Those polled were roughly split when asked if cross-border shopping is a false economy, where they spend more on travel than is saved.
An overwhelming 91 per cent of those polled said Canadian retailers must improve their pricing if they want to prevent shoppers heading instead to the U.S.