Retailers’ earlier-than-ever holiday promotions—think well before Thanksgiving and Black Friday—have led to a new phenomenon: Americans are getting a head start on holiday shopping.
US consumers had completed nearly 61% of their total holiday shopping as of December 12, according to a December survey of more than 7,200 shoppers from the National Retail Federation (NRF), conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. That’s up from about 53% last year, and the highest completion rate since at least 2005. In total, nearly 55% of shoppers said they’d finished at least half of their holiday shopping, also a historical high.
Despite the shift in trend—and have no doubt, getting their share of business this week is still crucial for retailers—some 126 million people, or 53% of consumers, said they plan to shop this weekend on so-called Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, NRF said.
What’s more, mall traffic tracker ShopperTrak has forecast this Saturday to be the second-busiest holiday shopping day of 2017, trailing only behind Black Friday. This Friday will also rank as one of the season’s top 10 shopping days.
A separate study from Bank of America of more than 40 million of its active credit and debit card accounts found that December 23 was the biggest retail sales day in December 2016.
And the recent NRF survey showed that while 55% of shoppers expected to be done with their holiday shopping by Wednesday, 6% said they will still be shopping on Christmas Eve (Sunday), and 5% said they won’t finish buying their last gifts until after Christmas.