Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Super Saturday 2021 Recap

Shira Petrack
December 28, 2021
Super Saturday 2021 Recap

As concerns over Omicron continue to intensify, Super Saturday 2021 – the last Saturday before Christmas, which traditionally marks the end of the holiday shopping season – has come and gone. We dove into the visit data for leading malls and retailers to get a sense of how the retail sector performed despite the challenges. 

Super Saturday Still Drives Visits 

Despite the recent rise in COVID cases, Super Saturday still drew in crowds of last-minute shoppers. Visits were up across the board when compared with the visit average from the previous five Saturdays (the visit average from 11.6, 11.13, 11.20, 12.4, and 12.11, and excluding visits from the Saturday of Black Friday weekend). 

Visits to indoor and outdoor malls were up 31.4% and 24.5%, respectively; Walmart and Target visits were up 15.9% and 29.5%, respectively; foot traffic to discount retailers was up an average of 25.2%; visits to specialty retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ulta Beauty were up an average of 52.2%; and foot traffic to Gap Inc. brands Gap and Old Navy was up an average of 19.9%.

The across-the-board rise in visits on Super Saturday relative to previous Saturdays means that retail holidays still hold significance and can still draw visit surges – even in a year with an extended holiday shopping season and when COVID concerns are on the rise. 

What is the Right Benchmark for Assessing Brick and Mortar Recovery? 

Unsurprisingly, Super Saturday visits to every retailer analyzed were higher than in 2020, and – HomeGoods aside – visits were lower than in 2019. This pattern is similar to the pattern we saw for Black Friday this year. But looking at the bigger picture reveals some interesting insights. 

With the exception of Target and Walmart – two of the retailers least affected by the pandemic – the Yo3Y visit gap was significantly smaller than the Yo2Y visit gap. HomeGoods and Ulta saw visit increases compared to 2018, visits to Ross and Burlington were more or less equal to 2018 levels, and the Yo3Y visit gap for indoor and outdoor malls was around half of their Yo2Y visit gap. 

The relatively smaller Yo3Y visit gap tells us two things. First, Super Saturday this year may have been stronger than the Yo2Y comparisons indicated. And second, 2019 may have been a particularly strong year for brick and mortar retail, and so assessing the retail recovery by comparing to 2019 may be shortchanging the massive strides that offline stores have made since the beginning of year.

Omicron’s Impact Starting to Be Felt on Brick and Mortar

Still, despite the relative rise in Saturday visits, the unique circumstances of the end of the 2021 holiday season did limit the visit peaks. 

Super Saturday visits are usually lower than Black Friday visits, as Black Friday discounts attract consumers shopping for themselves as well as for their friends and families, while Super Saturday’s appeal is more narrow and mostly draws shoppers completing their holiday list last minute. Still, given the recent rise in COVID cases, we expected the visit gap between Black Friday and Super Saturday to be even more significant this year, as Omicron compelled shoppers who were out and about over Black Friday to stay home over Super Saturday. And the data showed that while consumer demand held strong in some segments, Omicron’s rise is already beginning to limit the overall traffic for some categories.

Specialty stores and malls were not significantly impacted by the rising fifth COVID wave, as these categories don’t normally see large visit spikes in late December anyway. Specialty stores Ulta Beauty, Gap, and Old Navy saw visit gaps between Super Saturday and Black Friday that were slightly smaller in 2019 than in 2021 – but Dick’s saw a smaller visit gap in 2021 than in 2019. And for indoor and outdoor malls, the visit gap between Black Friday and Super Saturday was approximately the same in 2021 and in 2019. 

But although specialty stores and malls were largely spared, Omicron did hit one category particularly hard – the off-price segment. Off-price brands usually see more visits in December than in November, but this year’s data indicates that Super Saturday off-price visits relative to Black Friday visits were significantly higher in 2019 than in 2021 – a clear indication of Omicron’s impact. In 2019, Super Saturday visits to T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Ross Dress for Less, and Burlington were 15.9%, 25.9%, 28.8%, and 24.8% higher, respectively, than Black Friday visits that same year. But this year, Super Saturday compared to Black Friday visits were only 3.3%, 11.5%, 12.4%, and 9.5% higher, respectively, for those same brands. 

Essentially, Omicron does appear to be impacting retail visits, though the effects appear to be fairly limited, especially considering the magnitude of case increases.

Will Omicron impact brick and mortar visits going into 2022? 

Visit to find out. 

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?
Northeastern USA Grocery Dive
Movie Theaters Storylines for 2023
Ollie's Bargain Outlet: Discounters are Evolving
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023
America’s Evolving Work Patterns: A Deep-Dive into New York and Chicago Mall Index March 2023
Tuning Into Record Stores
Five Franchises To Watch in 2023
What’s Next For Domestic Tourism?
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike & lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact