NRF: 156 million people shopped ‘Super Saturday’ this year

90% of shoppers are still completing their holiday gift lists

About 66% of Americans, or an estimated 155.7 million people, planned to take advantage of Super Saturday sales to complete their holiday gift list, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

For the first time in survey history, consumers were asked if they planned to shop or considered shopping on Super Saturday, Dec. 17. The survey found that more people said they planned to shop on Super Saturday than those who said they planned to shop over Thanksgiving weekend, in an earlier survey.

“While many consumers got a head start with holiday shopping by taking advantage of extraordinary sales over Thanksgiving weekend, more shopping and great deals are yet to come,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We expect retailers will once again be competitive on price and value options in the final stretch, especially on Super Saturday.”

Though millions of people got a jump start on their holiday shopping, millions more still have plenty of items on their lists. Similar to previous years, only one in 10 have finished their holiday shopping – 24 million people; that means 90% of holiday shoppers have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items still to buy. The average holiday shopper has completed 52.5% of their shopping, down from last year’s 53.5%.

The survey revealed of those consumers that have completed half or less of their holiday shopping say it is because they are still deciding what to buy (44.7%) or waiting for requests from loved ones (27.2%). Twenty-seven percent have other financial priorities before December and 25% said they are too busy with other activities which have delayed/restricted their time to shop for the holidays.

When it comes to when consumers planned to purchase their last holiday gift, more than 38% said sometime before Dec. 18, up from 33% last year, and 12% of consumers said that they plan to wait until Dec. 23.

Last-minute shoppers plan to purchase their gifts online (52%), department stores (42%), discount stores (27%), clothing or accessories stores (21%), electronics stores (18%), local/small business (14%) and grocery/supermarket stores (13%).

“Even though there is still a lot of shopping left for the season, we are seeing Millennials continue the trend of an optimistic outlook heading into the final stretch,” Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Although they tend to be most conservative holiday spenders, nearly half of those 18 to 24 say they are planning to spend ‘more’ this year compared to last, significantly higher than their older counterparts.”

The survey, which asked 6,890 consumers about holiday shopping plans, was conducted Dec. 1-7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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