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RetailNext: Black Friday no longer top retail sales day


SAN JOSE, Calif. - Black Friday no longer reigns as the biggest shopping day of the year, RetailNext reported Thursday.

That honor is now expected to be held by Dec. 23, as holiday shoppers fill their baskets with last-minute gifts to contribute to the biggest shopping day in terms of sales. The busiest shopping day in terms of store traffic - Super Saturday, Dec. 17 -  is expected to be driven by shoppers who don't literally wait until the last moment when it comes to gift gifing.  

"As retailers have continued the trend to open more stores on Thanksgiving Day, it has pilfered away both sales and traffic from Black Friday," stated Shelley Kohan, VP retail consulting at RetailNext. "This year, with Christmas falling on a Sunday, most shoppers will want to cut short their shopping early on Saturday, Dec. 24, leaving the day before, Friday, as retail's biggest opportunity for sales. For store visits, Super Saturday will lead the way, with Black Friday a very close second."

Holiday shopping is being recast, RetailNext noted. "Those retailers who reimagine and reinvent Thanksgiving weekend shopping as more of a month-long event culminating with the holiday weekend will start the season strong, and those retailers nimble and agile enough to tactically respond in December on lessons learned in November will ultimately win the season," Kohan concluded.

Mark your calendars. The projected top 10 biggest shopping days in 2016, in terms of sales, are:

  1. Friday, Dec. 23;

  2. Super Saturday, Dec. 17;

  3. Black Friday, Nov. 25;

  4. Thursday, Dec. 22;

  5. Wednesday, Dec. 21;

  6. Sunday, Dec. 18;

  7. Saturday, Dec. 24;

  8. Saturday, Dec. 10;

  9. Friday, Dec. 16; and

  10. Saturday, Dec. 3.

And the top 10 busiest shopping days, in terms of shopper visits, will be:

  1. Super Saturday, Dec. 17;

  2. Black Friday, Nov. 25;

  3. Friday, Dec. 23;

  4. Saturday, Dec. 10;

  5. Monday, Dec. 26;

  6. Sunday, Dec. 18;

  7. Saturday, Dec. 24;

  8. Thursday, Dec. 22;

  9. Wednesday, Dec. 21; and

  10. Saturday, Dec. 3.

RetailNext issued a positive forecast for U.S. retail performance over the November through December holiday period, predicting a 3.2% year-over-year lift in sales, driven in part by a 14.9% increase in YoY sales through digital channels.

"There will be slight degrees of variability in early November due to the U.S. Presidential election," added Kohan, "But the residual angst from Election 2016 will subside by Thanksgiving. As compared to last year, there are two additional shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and when coupled with generally positive economic indicators, the retail industry looks for a strong close to the year."

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