Stores Hope For Super Saturday Onslaught

Retailers are heading into the final lap of the Christmas season with high hopes — and industry experts predicting healthy spending from America’s procrastinators.

The National Retail Federation says that while 40% of holiday shoppers are just about finished with their gift-getting, roughly 56%, or 134 million people, plan to shop Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas. That’s up from126 million last year.

So far, clothing has been the most in-demand gift, bought by 53% of consumers, followed by gift cards (38%), toys (37%), video games, movies and books (32%), food and candy (24%) and electronics and computer-related accessories (23%).

The Washington D.C.-based trade group also reports that experiential gifts, such as spa treatments, cooking classes, or tickets to a big game or concert, continue to gain in popularity. Some 28% of those surveyed plan to give such a gift, and 39% hope to get one.



The NRF’s survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, is based on nearly 7,000 adults. This year, it also asked about post-holiday spending, and found that 50% plan to shop after-Christmas sales, and 45% intend to do so online.

The International Council of Shopping Centers is also expected an increase in shopping this weekend, with its survey anticipating that 44% of adults plan to shop on Saturday. That’s up from 38% of adults last year, spending an average of $173.10 on both in-store and online purchases.

Discount stores, including Target and Walmart, are expected to get the most love, with 76% planning to shop there, and 48% expecting to buy from traditional department stores.

And Adobe Analysts reports that online spending has already surpassed expectations, with consumers spending $80.3 billion online through Dec. 7, up from 2017’s record $69 billion, and ahead of its $77.8 billion forecast.

Lightspeed, a Kantar-owned company, says its research shows people are spreading that spending around, with 52% of its survey respondents buying gifts for between five and nine people. About 25% are shopping for 10 or more gifts this season. Kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friends and spouses are all high on most people’s lists, but only 25% are planning to buy a gift for their parents, and just 18% intend to donate to a charity.

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