Plenty of people have shopping left to do ahead of retail's so-called "Super Saturday," the weekend before Christmas Day, according to the National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers. The ICSC found that 44% of adults plan to shop for holiday gifts or related items on Saturday, up from 38% in 2017. The NRF, meanwhile, found that even more — 56% of holiday shoppers, or about 134 million people (up from 126 million last year) — plan to shop that day.
NRF found that just over a third (34%) of holiday shoppers bought their last gift by Tuesday. That figure creeps up to 44% of shoppers who expected to be finished by the end of Wednesday. Twenty four percent plan to finish things off on the weekend. A few are waiting — 7% will still be shopping on Christmas Eve, and 4% said their list won’t be checked off until after Christmas, according to the NRF report, which was emailed to Retail Dive.
Some 41% of Super Saturday shoppers will go to a store or shopping center, according to the ICSC report, which was emailed to Retail Dive. Nearly half (48%) of adults plan to shop for holiday gifts or related items at some point during the weekend, while nearly a quarter (24%) will shop on Christmas Eve. Forty eight percent said that when they go to a physical store the week before Christmas, it's to see or touch items, while 40% said they're looking for lower prices, the ICSC said.
Just over a third of consumers are finished holiday shopping this year, having bought their last gift by Tuesday, according to the NRF — marking the beginning of the procrastination stage of the retail season.
Another third or so of U.S. adult holiday shoppers (34%) say they have a lot more shopping left or have barely started, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Luckily, most — a whopping 80% — say they have money left to spend on holiday gifts, the CTA also found.
That may be, although many of the late shoppers are on the hunt for deals, according to Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the NRF study. "Last-minute shoppers are ... making sure to research everything from shipping deadlines to the best deals," he said in a statement. "Some are already looking to the days after Christmas to find treasures in the clearance bins."
Indeed, 51% said they'll be shopping Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 to take advantage of post-holiday sales, according to the NRF report, and 27% said they'll be spending gift cards and 17% will be returning or exchanging unwanted gifts.
Over the weekend, most will shop at discount department stores, with about three-quarters (76%) planning to shop both online and in stores (same as last year) with 48% heading to traditional department stores, well up from 40% in 2017, the ICSC also said. The NRF found that more than half (51%) will finish their lists online, 41% at department stores, 25% at discount stores, 21% at apparel stores, 17% at electronics stores, 14% at local or small businesses and 13% at grocery stores.
NRF's breakdown of typical gifts holds little surprise: 53% of shoppers have already bought apparel as gifts, 38% bought gift cards, 37% toys, 32% video games, books and movies, 24% food or candy and 23% electronics or computer accessories. But, in a challenge to retailers, consumers seem to have made gifts of experiences — like cooking classes, spa treatments, club memberships or entertainment tickets — a holiday tradition, with 39% of consumers hoping to get such a gift and 23% planning to give one.