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Consumer Trends
156 Million Americans Plan to Shop on Super Saturday
For immediate release
December 16, 2016

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We expect retailers will once again be competitive on price and value options in the final stretch, especially on Super Saturday
Matthew Shay
NRF President and CEO

The biggest shopping day of the holiday season is approaching, with 66 percent of Americans – an estimated 155.7 million people – planning to or considering taking advantage of Super Saturday sales to complete their holiday gift list, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

For the first time in survey history, consumers were asked if they are planning to or considering shopping on Super Saturday, December 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.

NRF December Holiday Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

“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 percent of holiday shoppers have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items still to buy. The average holiday shopper has completed 52.5 percent of their shopping, down from last year’s 53.5 percent. 

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 percent) or waiting for requests from loved ones (27.2 percent). While 27 percent have other financial priorities before December and 25 percent 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 are planning to purchase their last holiday gift, more than 38 percent said sometime before December 18th, up from 33 percent last year. Although 12 percent of consumers said that they are planning to wait until December 23rd.

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

“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.”

As far as the kind of gifts consumers have purchased this season, the survey found 50 percent purchased clothing or clothing accessories, 36 percent toys, 34 percent gift cards/gift certificates, 33 percent books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games, and 23 percent consumer electronics or computer-related accessories.

NRF December Holiday Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

Press interested in video clips on the holiday survey can download an interview with Ana Serafin Smith, NRF Senior Director for Media Relations. Download MP4

Also popular this year are gifts of experience such as tickets to a sporting event, cheese of the month club or an adventure outing like whitewater rafting. The survey found that 23 percent of consumers are planning to give a gift of experience, up from 22 percent last year. While 38 percent of consumers would love to receive a gift of experience, up from 37 percent last year.

Consumers receiving gift cards this holiday season will watch for a really good sale or promotion to maximize the value of the gift card (41 percent) and 22 percent will use their gift card as quickly as possible, up from 20 percent last year. While 19 percent of consumers say they will save their gift card for a rainy day or sometime when they feel they need to treat themselves.

Although consumers are getting ready to complete their holiday shopping within the next week, 48 percent of consumers are planning to take advantage of in-store after-Christmas sales (up from 47 percent last year) and 44 percent are planning to shop online (up from 43 percent last year).

NRF December Holiday Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

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

Full data results will not be published on NRF.com. News media and analysts who require additional information can contact press@nrf.com

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

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