Last Minute Shopping for Christmas

The long holiday season is covering with promotions, and many retailers giving free expedited shipping offers as a way to seal the deal with last-minute shoppers.  Christmas Eve is the last Saturday before Christmas, a major day of revenue for American retailers, marking the end of the shopping season they and many customers believe begins on Black Friday.  Super Saturday targets last-minute shoppers.  Typically the day is ridden with one-day sales in an effort to accrue more revenue than any other day in the Christmas and holiday season.  Super Saturday typically nets approximately $15 billion in retail sales.  To compete with each other, stores offer significant discounts and extend store hours in an attempt to attract customers and drive impulse buying.

Super Saturday accounts for a significant portion of the holiday sales for retail stores.  In 2006, a study determined that sales between December 21 and 24 accounted for 13.6 percent of holiday sales.In 2006, Super Saturday fell on December 23, Some businesses do as much as 60 percent of their sales on this day.  In an effort to attract customers, stores often extend their hours during these crucial days of the retail season.  Some stores go as far as to leave their stores open all day long until Christmas Eve in hopes that customers will take the extra time during off-peak hours to both review alternative options and to spread out workloads for cashiers.  Because stores predict double or triple their typical customer turnout on Super Saturday, many increase their staffing during these critical days to be able to handle the demand.

The day typically nets a significant amount of revenue for retailers because of the demand by shoppers. 2009 reports indicated that by the middle of December, more than half of all shoppers in the United States still had more holiday shopping to do.  Some experts predicted that approximately 40% of consumers hadn’t started their holiday shopping by Super Saturday in 2009, with some customers citing full-time jobs as impeding their access to stores earlier in the year.  The Christmas House notes that the day is significant because it is “the last chance for shoppers to get out and do their shopping.  Some shoppers, however, intentionally wait for Super Saturday to finish their shopping due to the availability of discounts.  Alternative reasons for waiting until the final Saturday to make holiday purchases include ensuring that purchases are within budget.  Other customers choose to do their shopping early in an attempt to avoid the long lines and large crowds associated with the retail holiday.

Due to Super Saturday’s proximity to Christmas, shoppers are typically reluctant to venture on-line for deals, as purchases may not be able to arrive in time for the holiday.  However, this is not always the case.  If customers are unable to gain access to the stores, like what happened during the North American blizzard of 2009, customers who have little time left to buy their gifts may be forced on-line.  Super Saturday can also be used for any Saturday where a large number of related events are held.  In the context of the Euro- vision Song Contest for example, the Saturday on which most broadcasters organize their national final is often declared as Super Saturday Christmas Eve. The final Saturday of the US Open in tennis is called “Super Saturday”. If the tournament is running to schedule and has not been delayed by inclement weather or similar, both the men’s semi-finals and the women’s final are played on this day, with the men’s semi-finals in the afternoon, then the women’s final at night.

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