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Super Saturday Set to Attract 148M Shoppers

Dec 15, 2021 6:07 AM   By Rapaport News
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More than 148 million US consumers plan to make purchases on the last Saturday before Christmas, as eagerness to celebrate the holiday in style continues, according to a National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey.

That figure is 1% lower than for the same day last year, the NRF said Tuesday. However, it is more than the 147 million Super Saturday shoppers the organization predicted in 2019. An earlier-than-usual start to holiday preparations was probably the reason for the decline, as both retailers and consumers were keen to avoid shipping backups.

“Retailers began preparations for the holiday season months in advance, offering seasonal inventory early and taking preventative measures to circumvent supply-chain challenges exacerbated by the pandemic,” said NRF CEO Matthew Shay. “Consumers have responded with a growing eagerness to kick off the holiday shopping season early, and they expect to carry that momentum through the last few weeks of the year.”

Of those planning to shell out cash on Super Saturday, 27% will shop exclusively in stores and 32% will buy only online, the NRF found. Some 41% will use a combination of both. Although 42% of respondents said they would purchase their final gifts before December 18, more than half expected to be picking up last-minute gifts in the week leading up to Christmas.

The clothing and accessories category — which includes jewelry — has been the most popular gift purchased to date, chosen by 44%, the NRF added. That’s followed by toys, books and media, gift cards, and electronics. Despite concerns about supply shortages, 71% of consumers surveyed said they had managed to find the items they were looking for. 

“Consumers have responded to this holiday season’s supply-chain challenges with flexibility,” said Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for Prosper. “When shoppers do experience difficulty finding gifts, they take a proactive approach toward alternate solutions, like checking another retailer, location or channel, or identifying a substitute item.”

The NRF expects shopping to continue strongly after the holiday, it said. The survey found that 65% of consumers would continue to lay out money during the week after Christmas to take advantage of deals or use gift cards they received over the holiday.

Total holiday sales for the November-to-December period will grow 8.5% to 10.5% year on year to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion, the NRF forecast. Sales may even increase up to 11.5%, the group noted.

The NRF surveyed 7,453 adult consumers between November 24 and December 3.

Image: A couple shopping for the holidays. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Jewelry, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, Phil Rist, Prosper Insights & Analytics, Rapaport News, super Saturday
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