New York — Retailers pulled out all the promotional stops over the weekend in a final pre-Christmas push.
At stake was what market research firm ShopperTrak expects was the busiest sales day of the year: so-called “Super Saturday (Dec. 20), which is projected to pull in close to $10 billion in sell-through.
The anticipated take would return the last Saturday before Christmas to the top sales spot for the first time in 10 years. In the process, it pushes Black Friday to No. 3 in traffic, behind the day after Christmas (Dec. 26), and propels the season toward ShopperTrak’s forecasted $276 billion in total holiday spend, a gain of 3.8 percent over last year.
“We’re expecting a monster weekend,” Abt Electronics co-president Jon Abt told TWICE on the eve of Super Saturday.
To grab their share of procrastinators, retailers and e-tailers are using every lever at their disposal, including free shipping, extended delivery deadlines, longer store hours and of course, more discounts.
Best Buy, defending its CE dominion, is employing them all.
Its stores remained open until 11 p.m. over the weekend; won't close until midnight on Monday and Tuesday; and overnight shipping will be available for online orders placed on Wednesday.
And for the ultimate in last-minute shopping, customers will have until 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve to place an online order and pick it up in-store before the doors close at 6 p.m.
Best Buy’s best buys included $50 off iPads through Super Saturday; iPhone 6 for $200 with contract; and discounts of up to $300 on 2-in-1 laptops.
At Target, store hours are being stretched to new extremes. Online orders can be placed as late at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve for in-store pick up as late as 10 p.m. that evening. Meanwhile, the chain’s season-long free-shipping-on-everything offer ends on Super Saturday, the last day that online orders are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.
“We know our guests have a lot to tackle the week before Christmas and we want to make sure shopping remains fun and stress-free,” said Kathee Tesija, Target’s chief merchandising and supply chain officer.
The discounter’s last-minute deals include a 32-inch Magnavox LED TV for $170; a $50 savings; Samsung’s Galaxy 10-inch Tab 4 16GB tablet for $280, a $70 savings; and 15 percent off Sony PlayStation 4 bundles through Target’s “Cartwheel” mobile app.
Amazon.com, which is limited by the capabilities of its express delivery providers, nonetheless pushed its drop-dead ship dates even further out, to Dec. 22 for two-day shipping; Dec. 23 for one-day shipping; and Dec. 24 for same-day shipping on a million eligible items in 12 major metro areas.