NRF predicts record number of shoppers for Super Saturday

WASHINGTON — A consumer survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics sees big things ahead for retailers as the holiday season nears its end.

More than 158 million consumers are expected to shop on the last Saturday before Christmas this year, according to the annual consumer survey. This figure is approximately 10 million more than last year’s expected number of Super Saturday shoppers and the highest number since NRF first started tracking this data in 2016. The survey of 7,857 consumers was conducted Dec. 1 through Dec. 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Matthew shay - cropped

Matthew Shay

“Consumers have been shopping in record numbers this year, purchasing holiday items for friends and loved ones,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “With Super Saturday falling eight days before Christmas, retailers are prepared to help shoppers fulfill their last-minute purchases that will make this holiday season memorable.”

Of the 158.5 million anticipated Super Saturday shoppers, 44.1 million (28%) plan to shop only in stores, 42.2 million (27%) plan to shop only online, and 72.2 million (46%) plan to shop both in stores and online.

In line with recent years, as of early December, holiday shoppers said they had completed about half (53%) of their purchases. Additionally, 70% say their shopping plans include buying after Dec. 25. This is on par with pre-pandemic levels for post-Christmas shopping.

“Strong shopping is expected after Christmas as holiday shoppers aim to take advantage of retailers’ sales and promotions,” said Phil Rist, Prosper executive vice president of strategy. “In the week following Christmas Day, we expect to see consumers maximize holiday sales and promotions, use gift cards and return or exchange unwanted gifts.”

Meanwhile, the way consumers prefer to pay for holiday purchases is shifting.

About half (52%) of consumers say they are using alternative payments or digital wallets. This is up from 44% last year and compares with only 39% in 2019. The most common alternative payment is PayPal (32%), followed by Apple Pay (14%) and CashApp (12%).

About three-quarters (76%) of those aged 18 to 24 say they have used an alternative payment method or digital wallet so far this holiday shopping season.

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Thomas Lester is Retail Editor for Furniture Today and Digital/Managing Editor for Home Accents Today. A graduate of Emory & Henry College’s Mass Communications program, Lester spent a dozen years working for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina covering an array of subjects, ranging from community news, government, education, ACC sports, professional baseball and more before joining Furniture Today in 2013. Reach out to me with your story ideas, tips and more at tlester@furnituretoday.com.

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