While the holidays have been dominated largely by the success of e-commerce retail, a new report suggests that the best is yet to come for brick-and-mortar stores.
Super Saturday—the final Saturday before Christmas and the second-busiest holiday shopping window of 2019—should generate a flood of in-store traffic, according to a new forecast from Sensormatic Solutions.
“Saturdays in December consistently make our list of top busiest shopping days, but the one closest to Christmas, known as Super Saturday, has always been the busiest,” Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting for ShopperTrak explained in a statement released by sister company Sensormatic. “In a shorter season, the intensity of shopper traffic increases as you get closer to Christmas Eve.”
That won’t be the only day that retailers can capitalize on the unique shopping behaviors that are likely to arise from am abbreviated holiday season—one that could wrest nearly $1 billion in sales from retail’s coffers. For one, there is no reason for retail take its foot off the gas simply because Christmas has come and gone.
“Unlike in 2018, the day after Christmas, known as Boxing Day (Dec. 26) in some global regions, takes on more shopper traffic importance because it falls on a Thursday and many consumers extend their time off during the holidays,” Field said. “It’s expected to be the third-busiest day for retail shopper traffic.”
This differs from the past five years, in which the traditional holiday retail calendar prevailed.
“In fact, this is the first time since 2013 that we expect Boxing Day (Thursday), along with the Friday and Saturday after Christmas to all be in the top 10,” Field added. “All of these are post-Christmas days which extend the shopping calendar. These significant traffic days present retailers with yet another opportunity for more sales and gift card redemptions.”
Retailers will need all the help they can get this year, before and after Christmas. According to Sensormatic data, Black Friday weekend store traffic dipped 4 percent from 2018. Northeast storms kept some shoppers home, however, as store traffic plunged 30 percent on the Sunday after Black Friday.
It is possible or even likely that consumers anticipated the inclement weather and did most of their shopping on Saturday, though Northeast brick-and-mortar traffic showed modest 0.9 percent growth, hardly enough to offset Sunday’s 30 percent drop.
Regardless, e-commerce was the victor on Thanksgiving weekend anyway. According to 1010Data, brick-and-mortar stores lost 3 percent of their market share to online sales on Thanksgiving and on Black Friday this year, and have lost 10 percent since 2014.