The biggest shopping day of the year, despite the shorter holiday shopping season, will be the Saturday before Christmas, according to a report by Reuters.
Recent years have shown there’s usually a surge in purchases and shopper traffic on what is being called “Super Saturday,” and sales on that day have been shown to be similar to Black Friday, which is traditionally the start of the holiday shopping season.
Retail analysts expect this year’s Super Saturday to surpass all other days in 2019. The president at retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners, Craig Johnson, said he expects that day to see spending of around $34 billion this year.
That number includes both in-store and internet sales, but doesn’t include restaurants, auto dealers or gas stations. Black Friday saw around $31.5 billion in sales.
“Consumer demand remains strong,” Johnson said. “While mall traffic is weak, those that are going to stores are buying more.”
Spending is growing, experts said, because of U.S. wage growth and a robust labor market, despite the global economy slowing down.
Another factor in the strong sales environment is the fact that prices have been fairly even, and have not risen, as many expected they would.
Even though many retailers have faced the pressure to increase prices due to an ongoing trade war with China and associated tariffs, retailers like Walmart and Amazon have kept prices steady.
While the trend for the past few years has been for warehouses to hire seasonally to manage online orders, this year many traditional retailers are adding staff in physical stores. Analysts say shoppers are being more deliberate about their purchases, and retailers are listening and investing in helping to improve the in-store holiday shopping experience.
“The shoppers that are coming into the store during the holidays want the personal touch … otherwise they’d be online,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president at placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. “They want somebody to guide them through the inventory and in some ways help them select the right products at the right prices.”