December 26 Expected to Be Huge Day for Retailers


What with exchanges and shoppers eager to redeem gift cards, the day after Christmas is always a busy one for retailers. For a variety of reasons, including that December 26 falls on a Monday this year, retailers anticipate a banner day for sales.

Last year, December 26 was a Sunday–traditionally, a day for family time, and a day when blue laws in some parts of the country force stores to be closed or have limited hours. Retailers are under no such constraints this year. At the same time, most people still have the day after Christmas off from work, setting up what looks to be a monster shopping day.
The retail research firm ShopperTrak predicts that foot traffic on December 26 at brick-and-mortar stores will be up 60% compared to the day after Christmas in 2010. In a recent American Express survey, 57% of Americans said they planned on shopping on December 26, versus 43% on the day after Christmas a year ago. More than 1 in 5 of those who plan on shopping say they’ll be cashing in gift cards, while more than one-third (36%) will be buying gifts for themselves–the continuation of one of the season’s hottest consumer trends.
One reason the after-Christmas period is anticipated to be above average for sales is that, as the Associated Press reported, millions of Americans have earlier decided to delay some or all of their Christmas spending this year. Some have postponed gift exchanges because they don’t have the money at the moment–not surprising, given the state of the economy–while others just wanted to wait to take advantage of the inevitable 50% or 75% discounts widely available in the days and weeks after Christmas.
Source: TIME Magazine | BRAD TUTTLE | @bradrtuttle