WASHINGTON – According to the National Retail Federation, more than 148 million consumers plan to shop in-store and online this Saturday, which is known as Super Saturday since it’s one week before Christmas.
The number reflects a slight drop from last year when 150 million consumers were expected to shop but an increase from the 147 million in 2019.
“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 Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “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.”
With the date falling exactly one week before Christmas, the number of anticipated Super Saturday shoppers is the third-highest reported since NRF began tracking this figure in 2016.
Just over one-fourth of consumers, or 27%, plan to shop exclusively in-store, and another third plan to shop online only. However, most shoppers, at 41%, expect to use a combination of the two channels.
Retailer efforts to mitigate the impact of supply chain challenges appear to have paid off. The majority (71%) of holiday shoppers say they have been able to find the items they are looking for most or all of the time. And optimism is high, with two-thirds indicating they are confident or very confident they will be able to find the gifts and other items needed for the holiday season this year.
“Consumers have responded to this holiday season’s supply chain challenges with flexibility,” said Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insight & Analytics, a consumer data company that serves the retail industry, among others. “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. Additionally, some will choose to gift cash or a gift card or even wait to see if the item comes back in stock.”
As expected, holiday shopping will continue into the new year. The survey found that 65% of holiday shoppers plan to shop during the week immediately following Christmas. The top reasons consumers plan to shop during this time are to take advantage of deals and promotions and to use gift cards.
The NRF defines the holiday season as Nov. 1 through Dec. 31 and has forecast that holiday sales will grow between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion. The 2021 holiday season appears to be on track to reach as high as 11.5% growth over last year.
The survey of 7,453 adult consumers was conducted Nov. 24-Dec. 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2%.