A Yellowknife resident won a $3,000 local shopping spree on Friday as the Shop YK promotion came to an end – with spending a little down year-on-year.
The City of Yellowknife and Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce said $769,800 had been spent in local stores through the passport program, in which shoppers get stamps in passports for every $20 spent. Collecting 30 stamps translates into one entry for the grand prize.
In 2018, Shop YK spending was reported at $816,000. A year earlier, it was $931,800 – representing a drop of around $160,000 from 2017 to 2019.
The City and chamber have been pursuing a target of $1 million for spending through the campaign, though it is proving an uphill battle in a fairly hostile retail climate.
Andrew Hancock was the lucky resident named the winner of the $3,000 prize on Friday. The money must be spent locally among the 46 participating businesses.
"Congratulations to Andrew and thank you to all of the people who continue to spend locally," said Rebecca Alty, Yellowknife's mayor, in a news release.
"It is a testament to local Yellowknife vendors that our residents continue to choose to shop locally due to the outstanding quality and customer service that they receive."
In total, 1,283 passports were completed and entered between October 21 and December 2. There were 1,553 passports entered in 2017, and 1,360 last year.
The most recent Statistics Canada data suggests retail sales in Yellowknife are down fractionally year-on-year. From January to September 2019 – the last month for which data is available – sales were down 1.2 percent, unadjusted for inflation, on the corresponding period in 2018.
However, 2017 and 2018's annual retail figures showed modest unadjusted growth of around two percent each year. That growth outstripped Yellowknife's inflation rate of 1.2 percent in 2017 and roughly matched inflation of 2.3 percent in 2018.
"Each year we are impressed and delighted with the appetite of Yellowknifers for shopping with local merchants," said Deneen Everett of the chamber of commerce.
The City and chamber appeared to reaffirm their commitment to continuing the promotion in Friday's news release, saying they "look forward to future editions of the competition."