Last-Minute Shopping to Drive Holiday Sales

NORTH AMERICA–A little more than half of U.S. adults expect to finish their holiday shopping in the days leading up to Christmas, with some missing the deadline altogether, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. 

April 6, 2018

Last-Minute Shopping to Drive Holiday Sales

The Saturday before Christmas is expected to see 126 million U.S. consumers purchasing holiday goods.


In addition, the survey found that only 12 percent of consumers finished their holiday shopping as of Dec. 12, with shoppers having completed an average of only 61 percent. Meanwhile, 53 percent of consumers (approximately 126 million) plan to shop on “Super Saturday,” the last Saturday before Christmas, and 55 percent plan to shop on Christmas Eve. An additional 5 percent reported that their final gifts will not be bought until after Christmas.

“Even though many consumers got a head start with holiday shopping early in the season, millions more are leaving their gift buying to the last minute and beyond,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Stores will be packed the next few days as consumers rush to complete their

shopping, and anybody ordering online at this point should probably choose in-store pickup as their delivery option.”

As of Dec. 12, 51 percent of last-minute shoppers planned to buy their gifts online as well as department stores (41 percent), discount stores (26 percent), clothing or accessories stores (21 percent), electronics stories (18 percent), local/small businesses (14 percent) and grocery/supermarket stores (14 percent).

Furthermore, the survey found that 54 percent of consumers have already purchased clothing or accessories; 39 percent have already purchased toys; 39 percent have bought gift cards; 35 percent have purchased books, movies or other media; 25 percent have bought consumer electronics; and 25 percent have purchased food or candy. Gifts of experience have also been popular, with 23 percent of consumers purchasing experiential activities.

Finally, 47 percent of respondents plan to take advantage of after-Christmas sales in-store, while another 46 percent will do so online.

“Similar to what we saw over Thanksgiving weekend, consumers are leveraging their smartphones to guide them on their final purchases for the holidays,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, strategy, Prosper Insights. “Retailers this year have needed to offer great deals online and encourage young people making purchases through their smartphones to take advantage of offerings such as buy online and pick up in store.”

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