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Super Saturday lives up to its name

Super Saturday sales on Dec. 21 reached a record of $34.4 billion.

BY Dan Berthiaume

Move over, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Super Saturday just broke single-day U.S. sales records.

According to figures from retail consulting and research firm CGP, Super Saturday sales on Dec. 21, 2019 reached a record $34.4 billion, marking the largest single day in U.S. retail history. The stunning sales broke the old record of $31.9 billion on Super Saturday 2018, and represents a slight increase from CGP’s forecast of $34 billion for the day, including both store and online sales.

Super Saturday sales of $34.4 billion were 10% above Black Friday’s $31.2 billion total. Cumulatively, online sales have comprised 58% of the year-over-year growth in holiday retail spending in 2019 so far, according to CGP.

Other Super Saturday findings include:

•    Robust job and wage growth, along with healthy household finances, drove the increase from Super Saturday 2018.
•    Transaction velocity rose across most retail sectors, but was strongest at off-price stores.
•    Footfall was still down at most malls, but conversion rates rose, offsetting the weakness.
•    Women are shopping more like men, with more tech spending displacing apparel, and now comprising 50% of customer traffic at Best Buy and Apple, up from about 40% in 2014.

“After a warm fall that depressed October and early November outerwear sales, retail has gained speed ever since, peaking on Super Saturday, and Sunday was no slouch as well,” said Craig Johnson, president of CGP. “Paced by the ‘Big Four’ mega-retailers—Walmart, Amazon, Costco and Target—Super Saturday was boosted by the best traffic our team has seen in years. The spending momentum was so strong, that even the long-ailing department stores had their best weekend of the season.

“The question now is whether today’s stellar momentum leads to sustained economic growth into 2020 and beyond,” Johnson continued.  “The week between Christmas and New Year’s is now the third biggest week of the season—and may be a ‘tell’ for the consumer.”

CGP’s holiday analysis is based on quantitative surveys conducted across 50 major retailers in over 100 benchmark mall and off-mall shopping venues that CGP has tracked since 2005.

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