MONTREAL -- It's the post-Christmas shopping day deal hunters have been waiting for.

But with non-essential retail shuttered or restricted across much of the country, the usual crowded malls and long lineups of Boxing Day are expected to be replaced with internet searches and online orders.

Ontario's provincewide lockdown begins today, joining Quebec and Manitoba in closing non-essential retail, while much of the rest of the country has curtailed in-store capacity.

Despite the restrictions forcing most shopping online, industry watchers say retailers are still expected to offer some deep discounts in a bid to raise cash.

Farla Efros, president of HRC Retail Advisory, says there will be fire-sale prices on some items.

She says retailers don't want to get stuck with a backlog of holiday and seasonal inventory and also need to shore up their balance sheets in the face of mounting lockdowns and restrictions.

For the list of priority commercial enterprises permitted to remain open visit the Quebec government's site

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 26, 2020.