For the first time since 2010, Christmas will fall on a Saturday this year — an occurrence that will impact holiday shopping patterns.
That’s according to Sensormatic Solutions, which released its predictions for the top busiest shopping days of the 2021 holiday season. With the holiday occurring on a Saturday, retailers should expect more holiday shopper traffic than usual in the days leading up to Christmas and on December 26, advised Sensormatic, part of Johnson Controls.
Black Friday once again tops the list of the 10 busiest holiday shopping days, which account for approximately 40% of all holiday retail traffic. It’s followed by “Super” Saturday, Dec. 18, and Thursday, December 23. (The complete list is near end of article.)
In addition, Sensormatic predicts U.S. in-store traffic for this year’s holiday season will be down between 10% and 15% compared to 2019, the most recent normalized year. Overall, in 2021, in-store U.S. retail traffic fiscal year-to-date is down 18.6% from 2019. However, since the beginning of August, traffic is improving slightly, trending down 15.1% from 2019. Last year, in-store traffic for the full six-week holiday period was down 33.1% year-over-year, according to Sensormatic.
“While COVID-19 is still making headlines as we head into the holidays, vaccine availability and retailers’ health and safety measures have put us in a different place with many consumers more comfortable shopping in stores compared to the 2020 holiday season,” said Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions
Senormatic’s full list of predicted busiest shopping days in the U.S. is as follows:
Friday, November 26 – Black Friday
Saturday, December 18 – Super Saturday
Thursday, December 23 – Thursday before Christmas
Saturday, December 11 – 2nd Saturday in December
Sunday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day”
Wednesday, December 22 – Wednesday before Christmas
Saturday, November 27 – Saturday after Thanksgiving
Saturday, December 4 – first Saturday in December
Tuesday, December 21 – Tuesday before Christmas
Sunday, December 19 – Sunday before Christmas
“Our predicted busiest days mark the peaks of in-store traffic, but we expect that like last year, consumers will start their shopping earlier to offset inventory limitations shipping delays and ongoing concerns about social distancing,” said Brian Field, senior director, Sensormatic Solutions, global retail consulting practice, whose team predicts the top busiest days of the holiday season. “Additionally, with Christmas Day on a Saturday for the first time since 2010, and stores closed that day to observe the holiday, we expect more holiday shopper traffic than usual will occur in the days leading up to Christmas and on December 26.”
“While COVID-19 is still making headlines as we head into the holidays, vaccine availability and retailers’ health and safety measures have put us in a different place with many consumers more comfortable shopping in stores compared to the 2020 holiday season,” said Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions. “Through this busy time, retailers can lean heavily on innovative technology to keep shelves stocked, predict and prevent loss events and keep customers safe through occupancy monitoring and resulting social distancing. Leveraging prescriptive insights provided by connected solutions, retailers can also ensure they’re reaching the right consumer with the right item at the right time throughout the season.”