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The US retail group expects over 150 million buyers on the Saturday earlier than Christmas

© Reuters. A shopper wearing a protective face mask walks past Christmas decorations at The Grove mall while partially on hold during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Over 150 million American shoppers were able to buy Christmas gifts in stores or online on the last Saturday before Christmas or "Super Saturday" this year, an increase of more than 2 million from last year, the National Retail Federation said Thursday .

This year, Super Saturday falls almost a week before the holiday, giving customers a few more days to complete their purchases than last year. Many are likely to stick with online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Consumers have adopted an earlier start to the holiday season. They are spreading out their Christmas shopping and taking advantage of sales and promotions from retailers in local communities and national brands," said Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer of the NRF retail group.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way US consumers shop with retailers like Walmart (NYSE 🙂 Inc, target Corp (NYSE :), Best buy Co (NYSE 🙂 In and Kohl & # 39; s Corp (NYSE 🙂 are launching promotions earlier than ever this holiday shopping season.

Of those looking to shop on Saturday, 42% intend to only do so online, according to the retail group.

Craig Johnson, president of retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners, expects people to spend $ 36.1 billion on Super Saturday this year, up from $ 34.4 billion last year. These estimates include in-store and online purchases, but exclude sales at gas stations, restaurants, and car dealerships. By comparison, Black Friday had sales of $ 29.7 billion that year.

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