Super Saturday — the last Saturday before Christmas — could have lured even more shoppers than usual, and thereby increased sales for many retailers. Typically, Super Saturday is one of the busiest shopping days for the year as a whole as last-minute shoppers head out to buy gifts and presents for their loved ones. Some analysts were worried that Saturday could have been hampered by the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant. However, initial data doesn’t seem to indicate that it has impacted sales on Saturday too much — at least, data doesn’t show this impact yet.
Prior to Saturday, data from foot traffic tracking firm Placer.ai forecasted that more people would visit stores the weekend before Christmas than last year. More people are willing to shop in person, especially when compared to last year, and more people are comfortable going out to shop at stores, even with the Omicron variant.
Many shoppers may also feel as if they have no other option other than shopping in stores, especially as it gets closer to Christmas. Many businesses have experienced product shortages that have impacted online sales. Plus, because of the mass amount of products being shipped in the mail — an increase happens every year — mail carriers such as FedEx and the United States Postal Service set a deadline for ground deliveries on December 15th. Any package mailed after this date will likely not get to its location before the 25th.
Therefore, shoppers are facing the Omicron variant and shortages of stock in these last few days before Christmas. However, for many, there may be no other option at this point other than to shop in stores. As the pandemic rages on, many shoppers have also become used to the pandemic and are more likely to shop in stores, even with the highly contagious Omicron variant, than they possibly were in 2020 when the pandemic had been in the United States for less than a year.
In fact, some retailers forecasted that their Super Saturday would experience more traffic — and more sales — than even what they experienced in Christmas of 2019, before the pandemic hit the United States.
For the year, data has signaled that shoppers are more comfortable shopping in-store again after shopping mainly online in 2020. Sensormatic Solutions, a data firm, recently cited that the Friday after Thanksgiving experienced a 48% increase in foot traffic compared to last year. This could mean that Super Saturday experienced an increase in foot traffic as well, though data has yet to prove this.
While many retailers are still hoping to have a busy Super Saturday, many Americans already finished their Christmas shopping earlier in the year. After learning from analysts that many businesses could have stock shortages because of the global supply chain issues, shoppers started shopping for the holiday season as early as October. So, even if Super Saturday doesn’t turn out as some retailers want, the holiday shopping season as a whole will still possibly experience economic growth because people have shopped much earlier than normal.