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Procrastination is keeping shoppers online and out of stores, say researchers.

Holiday shopping has been creeping up the calendar for years, but suddenly, shoppers aren’t giving in. In fact, they’d rather wait until mid-December’s “Super Saturday” to shop.

A research firm called InfoScout surveyed 1 million consumer’s shopping habits and found that Super Saturday (Dec. 17) sales were up 12 percent last year, while Black Friday (even as it crept into Thanksgiving Thursday) didn’t budge in sales.

“Black Friday has become an increasingly artificial phenomenon, driven as much by retailer promotion as by its date on the calendar,” says Jared Schrieber, InfoScout’s co-founder and CEO. “Super Saturday, by contrast, offers a more practical reason for primacy in shopping trips; it’s the last weekend to shop before the holiday.”

It’s not just other shopping holidays that are stalling Black Friday. Black Friday is also stalling Black Friday. Consumers who head out for day-after-Thanksgiving sales are planning their shopping aggressively. What was once an all-day affair is slowly lessening to a couple stops.

Schrieber says the first stop of the day is the biggest stop of all.

“Last year, 74 percent of Black Friday shoppers went to more than one store, and many of those went to a third and fourth,” he says. “On the other end of the spectrum, 38 percent of shoppers who went to Walmart first did not go to any other store on Black Friday. We expect the trend toward visiting fewer stores to accelerate — which makes attracting customers to your store first critically important.”

While Super Saturday is slowly taking on Black Friday, about half of shoppers have been hitting stores already. Yes, before Halloween.

In-store shopping is still dropping

As Black Friday continues its downward spiral into the abyss, it doesn’t mean that shopping has lessened by any stretch. In fact, all signs point to increases — again — as sales are expected to go up 12 percent this year.

While brick-and-mortar stores may have their deals come Thanksgiving and Super Saturday, consumers have been shopping for months — long before the holiday season arrived.

Heading out for shopping deals continues to lessen as consumers would rather shop from the comfort of their own homes without having to battle the retail wars. Cyber Monday, which is increasingly catching up to Black Friday, has already had shoppers waiting with baited breath, as 20 percent of Americans are looking for Cyber Monday deals as early as August. That’s twice as much as this time last year.

But it’s not just Cyber Monday. We’ll be online shopping all holiday season long, as 73 percent of us are planning to get gifts online and one-third of those will be on mobile alone. In fact, 22 percent of Americans don’t even believe they’ll make it to a physical store this year. At all. That number goes up to 28 percent when just millennials are tallied.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


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