Retailers look to hook last-minute shoppers with Super Saturday offers

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Retailers expect crowds bigger than Black Friday on upcoming Super Saturday.

“Super Saturday,” or the last Saturday before Christmas, is expected to eclipse Black Friday and become the busiest shopping weekend of the year, retail analysts say. That’s because almost everybody still has some shopping to do, according to a consumer survey by the National Retail Federation, which showed that only 10 percent of American shoppers said they were done buying gifts for the season this week. “As Black Friday became more muddled and spread out last year, we saw more people wait until the last week before Christmas to shop,” said Jeff Green, a retail analyst in Phoenix. Record-shattering warmth throughout the Northeast — including the warmest temperatures in 120 years in Cleveland — have hit retailers especially hard, said Bill Kirk, chief executive and co-founder of Weather Trends International Inc., a business weather analytics company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Sales are especially slow when compared to the epic cold and snow last November, which drove sales of cold winter merchandise up 50 percent to 500 percent at full margins, he said.

The big losers are Northeast winter merchandise firms and retailers whose stores are concentrated in the Northeast, but the winners are consumers who are saving 40 percent on heating bills, home improvement centers that specialize in outdoor projects, restaurants and movie theaters. The children’s retailer is offering free shipping on online orders of $19 or more until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday and free store pickup until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. “Foot traffic has been down so far this holiday season, especially over Black Friday,” said Steve Kirn, executive director of the David F. The International Council of Shopping Centers estimates that with an average of 44 percent of their holiday shopping left to do, 112.8 million shoppers will hit stores and shopping centers on Saturday to shop, dine, see a movie and/or attend a holiday event. But it’s much harder to make money during it.” The NRF predicts that retail sales during the months of November and December will increase by a modest 3.7 percent this year, to $630.5 billion spent nationwide.

We expect the last few days leading up to Christmas to be a flurry of shopping activity.” Consumers are still buying Christmas gifts, “but in a colder/snowier season you also have to buy winter merchandise on top of that — jackets, gloves, ice melt, snow blowers, auto batteries, more hot cocoa, more soup, etc.,” Kirk said. “This year, it’s gifts only, as you don’t need much or consume as much of the winter seasonal items. “Ask any retailer, and they have EPIC RECORD WINTER INVENTORY LEVELS in the Eastern half of the country, stacked to the rafters in their distribution centers and back of stores. Best Buy is also offering free in-store Geek Squad setup (normally $39.99) with the purchase of select tech gifts, including Apple Watch, GoPro HERO4, and Microsoft Surface Pro 4. Customers who buy those items as gifts can give the recipients instructions on how to redeem their free one-on-one appointments with a Geek Squad Agent.

Christmas Eve, “as an added convenience to holiday shoppers,” in addition to extra savings on Super Saturday, the retailer said in a written announcement. — Fannie May Confections Brands, which has a chocolate factory and store in North Canton, has a “buy two, get one free” offer on pre-wrapped boxes of chocolates valued at $24.99 each, through Christmas Eve. Kirk, of WeatherTrends, said: “Retailers have so much excess inventory they will be giving away until mid-Spring… furthering the pain of three quarters in a row of all the wrong weather — record warm Fall, Winter, and then cold Spring.” “We don’t think we get the weather back in sync with retailers’ selling seasons until Summer next year, which will be hot/dry in the North with a positively epic 2016 hurricane season in the south.”

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