It's not over yet: Super Saturday promises biggest holiday sales numbers

Posted at 1:11 PM, Dec 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-16 17:35:53-05

As the saying goes, it’s not over until the cows come home. With five days left until Christmas on this Super Saturday, the cows won’t be coming home until all of their holiday shopping is complete.

Analytics firm ShopperTrak predicts that the deals available and shoppers still looking for bargains will boost Super Saturday to become the biggest day of the holiday season for retailers, approaching $10 billion in sales.

For comparison, Black Friday spending accounted for $11.9 billion in sales at its height, and just $9.1 billion this year. Cyber Monday approached $1 billion this year.

This year, Super Saturday falls on Dec. 20.

According to ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin, that makes for a very favorable calendar position.

For those still hunting for last-minute stocking stuffers, Martin said that brick-and-mortar stores are most likely to be shoppers’ preferred method.

What items are on sale?

Stores haven’t released any specific Super Saturday-related advertisements at this point, but several existing deals are in effect, and items in stores that haven’t yet been discounted likely will be.

According to Martin, based on ShopperTrak analysis, here’s what to expect on Super Saturday:

  • Heavier discounts on items that haven’t moved up until this point. Retailers are anxious to clear themselves of inventory as they prepare to receive spring shipments.
  • The most popular electronic items are probably off the shelf.  Stores that still have them in stock will likely continue offering them at currently available discounts.

When it comes to getting the best deals, Martin cited a slogan he heard recently describing a popular retailer tactic: “Click and collect. Retailers are going to offer customers the chance to buy online and pick items up in the store, in an attempt to bring internet and brick-and-mortar together.”

Coupons that are valid in a specific time frame are another way that retailers get their best customers back in stores multiple times over a certain period.

Bottom line for shoppers? “With a combination of online and in-store specials, a little diligence will get you the best deals,” Martin said.

Kathy Grannis, the National Retail Federation’s senior director of media relations, said that historically Super Saturday has always been the biggest day of the holiday season for retailers.

Black Friday took the top spot during the Recession and people were driven more to the extremely deep discounts, Grannis said, but it sounds like Super Saturday may take back the title this year.

For the last 10 years, Super Saturday has been either the number two or number three largest sales day of the year, primarily due to early November promotions and Thanksgiving day store openings that also weighed on Black Friday sales.

Martin predicts a 3.8 percent increase in brick-and-mortar retail sales for November and December combined, which is an accelerated pace from last year’s 3.1 percent.