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May 27, 2024

Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers Flock to Stores on Super Saturday

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Written by AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

Dec 25, 2023

Hundreds of procrastinating holiday shoppers crowded malls and shopping centers across the country on Saturday, dubbed “Super Saturday,” seeking last-minute gifts just days before Christmas. Though online shopping has grown in popularity, many still opted to brave the long lines and crowded stores in hopes of securing presents at the final hour.

Rush for Presents Causes Traffic Jams

Parking lots filled up early Saturday morning as shoppers descended on retail destinations. News reports from Kentucky described significant traffic congestion on roads near the Fayette Mall in Lexington. Shopper Tammy Smith said, “I expected it to be crowded with everyone else last-minute shopping, but this is nuts.” Stores like Best Buy and Bass Pro Shops saw long lines of customers stretching through the parking lots by mid-morning already.

Similarly, Louisiana’s largest mall quickly reached capacity. A video from Alabama showed cars backed up trying to enter parking lots. Long lines formed outside stores in malls across the Midwest and along the East Coast, causing some to wait over an hour just to get inside.

Shoppers Opt for Experience and Support Local

Rather than simply buying gifts online, many shoppers this Super Saturday prioritized the in-person shopping experience. A mother-daughter pair interviewed in Sacramento said they enjoyed spending time together and finding creative present ideas they wouldn’t have online.

Others sought to support local small businesses who rely more on in-store holiday sales. Virginia resident James Wilson said, “I try to shop local when I can, especially this time of year. These owners work really hard and deserve our business.” A West Virginia report found many shoppers flocking to small business storefronts along Main Streets seeking unique gift items.

What Shoppers Are Buying Last-Minute

Though gift cards remain a top last-minute purchase for the 11th year, according to the National Retail Federation, shoppers bought all sorts of items on Super Saturday.

Popular categories included:

  • Toys and games
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Electronics
  • Sporting goods
  • Home goods
State Top Gift Purchases
California Lego sets, headphones, Nike apparel
Illinois Smart watches, cashmere scarves, weighted blankets
Pennsylvania NFL jerseys, air fryers, PS5 games

Retailers Extend Hours, Discounts

With Christmas falling on a Monday this year, retailers did what they could to capture sales from procrastinating shoppers. Stores that normally close early on Saturdays or are closed Sundays announced special holiday hours. For example, Bass Pro Shops stayed open until midnight and Tanger Outlets in Charleston opened at 7AM Sunday morning.

Along with extended hours, retailers offered significant last-minute deals both online and in-stores. Special sales included 40% off at Gap, 50% off pajama sets at Target, and buy one get one half off toys at Walmart. Experts recommend checking in-store clearance sections for the best last-minute finds.

What Shoppers Plan for Christmas Eve, Day

Most waited until the very last moment hoping for deals, with over 20% not starting their holiday shopping until this final Super Saturday weekend according to early data. Now shoppers look ahead to finishing up Christmas preparations.

On Christmas Eve day, many will still be wrapping gifts picked up last-minute. A Rhode Island shopper said her family always orders takeout food on the 24th since they are too busy with other tasks. Grocery trips also ramp up Christmas Eve to buy ingredients for holiday meals and baked goods.

Then on Christmas morning, families will gather around the tree to open presents and enjoy time with one another. For shoppers that braved the holiday crowds this season, they can now relax and enjoy their purchases.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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