As Inflation Eases, Retailers Expect Record 'Super Saturday'

Retailers can expect record crowds this coming "Super Saturday," with the National Retail Federation predicting 158 million people will shop.

That’s a gain of about 10 million compared to last year and another indication that, whatever their concerns are about the economy, Americans are determined to celebrate the holidays more thoroughly than they have in the previous few years.

Super Saturday, because it is the last full Saturday before the Christmas holiday, sometimes eclipses Black Friday in total sales. (Saturday, Dec. 24, doesn’t count.)

The forecast comes just as the latest economic numbers land, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that inflation slowed last month, rising just 0.1%. That’s the smallest increase since last December. 

The NRF’s study with Prosper Insights & Analytics reports that the Super Saturday prediction is the highest since it began tracking shopping intentions in 2016.



Roughly 28% of those who are still shopping are planning to only buy in stores, 27% only online and 46% plan to shop both ways.

“Consumers have been shopping in record numbers this year,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive of the NRF, in its announcement. “With Super Saturday falling eight days before Christmas, retailers are prepared to help shoppers fulfill their last-minute purchases.”

It says the most-purchased categories include clothing, (50%), toys (34%) and gift cards (28%).

Previous surveys had predicted that gift cards would be the most popular purchase.

About 26% say they’ve also purchased books and other media, while 23% have spent money on food or candy.

Another shift is that 28% of respondents plan to give a gift of experience, whether it’s a spa service, a gym membership or event tickets, up from 23% last year. That’s the highest level since the NRF began tracking it in 2013.

About 70% of the survey, based on 7,800 respondents, say they’ll keep shopping after the holiday, roughly the same as pre-pandemic surveys.

The Consumer Price Index report means that for the last 12 months, the all-items index increased by 7.1%. Housing was the major contributor to the gain, offsetting the 1.6% decline in energy indexes. The food index climbed by 0.5%, as did the food-at-home measure.

Prices for used cars and trucks, medical care and airfares all fell.

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