News Column

Super Saturday Could Beat Black Friday Sales

Dec 21, 2012

Miriam Valverde

Loyal shoppers didn't go unnoticed this Black Friday, but procrastinators may take the crown and turn the upcoming Super Saturday into the biggest shopping day of the holiday season, retail analysts said.

"We always see procrastinators shopping," said Aaron Martin, Florida spokesman for Experian FootFall, a provider of retail shopper analytics. "This year we think we are going to see even more of that. ... We think Super Saturday is going to be huge."

Super Saturday, the Saturday before Christmas, usually ranks as the second highest performing day for retailers nationwide, following Black Friday, Martin said. But given the shopping lull created by the 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, Experian FootFall anticipates Super Saturday to finish first, he said.

"We believe these same deep discounts and promotions like those seen over Black Friday weekend, added to the annual throng of procrastinators that wait until the final weekend to spend, could potentially drive Super Saturday performance ahead of Black Friday in 2012," said Roseanne McCauley, vice president of the Americas for Experian FootFall, in a statement.

Since Christmas is falling on a Tuesday, many employers are giving their workers Monday off too, creating a four-day weekend that may benefit last-minute shoppers, said John Fleming, director of communications for the Florida Retail Federation.

"We fully expect in Florida that this is going to be the biggest sale of the year for most retailers," he said.

In Florida, Black Friday weekend is the highest in terms of foot traffic, Fleming said. "But when you look at actual sales, dollars rung up at cash registers, the Saturday before Christmas is the top day," he said.

Stores opening on Thanksgiving night, staying open long hours on Black Friday and continuing their discounts over the weekend "has definitely spread out traffic" around the holidays, Fleming said.

And so has online shopping.

"Before you had e-commerce, you had to be there at the store on that day at that particular time," Fleming said. "That's not the case now." Many retailers offer online deals and discounts the first Monday after Thanksgiving, calling it Cyber Monday.

November retail sales jumped 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, from October, according to the National Retail Federation. The federation also expects holiday sales to increase at least 4 percent from last holiday season.

Despite the anticipated strength of Super Saturday, analysts are not yet dismissing the impact of Black Friday.

"You can't have a solid season without a solid Black Friday," Martin said.



Source: (c)2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


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