Super Saturday Shopping: Performance Recap

by Brian Field on 12-28-17

Retailers, rejoice! As reported by Mastercard, retail sales from Nov. 1 to Christmas Eve increased 4.9% versus last year – reaching the highest rate of growth since 2011 – and online sales increased more than 18%. And our Super Saturday shopping data reinforces notions of retail success, including our determination that in-store retail traffic on Super Saturday (Dec. 23, 2017) increased 20% when compared to Super Saturday shopping last year (Dec. 17, 2016).

The drastic increase in shopper visits supports our data-backed assertion that Super Saturday’s impact increases based on its proximity to Christmas Day. Last year, with it being more than a week away from Christmas Day, the day had less urgency. This year, Super Saturday was only two days away from Christmas Day, and it served as the last full shopping day prior to Christmas, motivating shoppers to get out and hit the stores.

When digging further into this year’s traffic data, we found that Super Saturday shopping behavior was rather chaotic from Saturday, Dec. 16 to Sunday, Dec. 24. Saturday, Dec. 16 and Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 performed exceptionally well, posting a 2.8% increase in traffic when compared to last year’ Super Saturday Weekend. However, the work week (12/18/17 – 12/22/17) significantly underperformed the work week leading into Christmas Day last year with a -12.6% decrease in shopper traffic, creating a real nail-biter entering Super Saturday weekend.

And yet, the uniqueness of the 2017 calendar worked in retailers’ favor.

Last year, Saturday, Dec. 24 was the only true weekend shopping day immediately prior to Christmas Day, and it was abbreviated since stores closed early due to Christmas Eve. However, this year, there were two days: Super Saturday and Christmas Eve (12/23 – 12/24/17).  And the added day sparked retail traffic to increase more than 145% during the overall weekend when compared to last year. And as noted above, retail traffic on Super Saturday increased 20% versus 2016.

This not only created balance in overall holiday performance, it enabled the 2017 holiday shopping season to outperform years past.

Overall, it’s safe to say that retailers had a very merry Christmas.

And looking ahead, one of our ten busiest shopping days still remains – Saturday, Dec. 30. And to capitalize on shopper demand, successful retailers want to ensure their store is stocked, BOPIS offerings are efficient and associates are ready to help.

Be sure to check back in a few weeks for our holiday recap, where we’ll highlight a few nuances of the 2017 holiday shopping season and review our busiest days prediction.

Our vast amount of historical traffic data allows us to discern shopping patterns and create highly accurate predictions. As in years past, we’ve leveraged a subset of our data to generate both our predictions and results.

Read more posts by Brian Field

Brian Field is the Senior Director of Retail Consulting Practice for ShopperTrak, where he oversees the application of ShopperTrak's proprietary solutions to retailer-specific issues across different functional areas in order to drive top and bottom line store performance. Prior to joining ShopperTrak, Brian served in roles of increasing responsibility at Chico’s FAS Inc., including as the director of corporate store operations and finance. Brian has spent nearly four decades in the industry, and his experience includes: store sales and management, training, merchandising, strategic planning and analysis for brands as diverse as David’s Bridal, Circuit City and Macy's.