U.S. retail posts best day of holiday season

U.S. consumers showed up at the nation’s stores and malls in droves on Saturday Dec. 20 spending a season-best $7.3 billion, according to a recent survey.

The $7.3 billion total for the Saturday before Christmas eclipsed the same day in 2002 by 4.9% and was just a shade better than the $7.2 billion in sales rung up on Black Friday of this year, ShopperTrak reported in its National Retail Sales Estimate (NRSE).

ShopperTrak also reported that sales for the week ending Dec. 20 continued the momentum from the previous two weeks on a week-over-week basis, surging 19.1% over the previous week. Year-over-year sales for the week ending Dec. 20 also improved, albeit more slightly, from the same week in 2002, gaining 0.2%.

“Once again, the NRSE confirmed that the Saturday before Christmas is the biggest sales day of the holiday season,” said Michael Niemira, lead consultant for ShopperTrak. “The shift in importance from the early stages to the later days of the holiday season has continued this year, with many consumers waiting until the final days before Christmas to do their shopping.”

Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistic, as well as ShopperTrak’s proprietary industry intelligence on shopper movement and sales statistics.