by Stephen Garner

holiday spendingWith the holidays inching its way closer into sight, consumer behavior and analytics company ShopperTrak has released its list of the anticipated busiest shopping days of 2017, with Friday, November 24 (Black Friday) taking the top spot. Saturday, December 23 and Saturday, December 16 are expected to be the second and third busiest shopping days, respectively.

The ten busiest days are estimated to account for 40 – 45 percent of total shopping visits made during the entire 2017 holiday season, and so it will be essential for brick-and-mortar retailers to have their staffing, inventory and merchandising efforts aligned.

Additionally, physical retailers will need to pay close attention to the nuances of the 2017 calendar, in particular the four Saturdays in December that lead up to Christmas Day, which will redistribute shopping visits and elevate the importance of December 23 (Super Saturday) and December 16. Additionally, December 30 did not rank among the top ten last year, but because it will be on a Saturday and represent a full shopping day before New Year’s Eve, retailers will need to remain stocked and staffed beyond December 26 in order to capitalize on shopper interest.

The full list of predicted busiest shopping days is as follows:

1. Friday, November 24

2. Saturday, December 23

3. Saturday, December 16

4. Tuesday, December 26

5. Saturday, November 25

6. Friday, December 22

7. Saturday, December 9

8. Saturday, December 2

9. Saturday, December 30

10. Thursday, December 21

“Based on our historical analysis, we know that Black Friday will remain the busiest shopping day for brick-and-mortar retail,” said Brian Field, senior director of advisory services at ShopperTrak. “The Thanksgiving Day weekend, which includes Black Friday as the busiest day and November 25 as the fifth busiest day, will be a critical span of days for retailers as they head into the holiday season.”

“The holiday season is prime time for in-store shopping, and this year is no different,” added Field. “In fact, because of the rising influence of online, it’s even more important that physical retailers differentiate themselves with knowledgeable associates, stocked shelves and smooth checkout lines to improve customer experiences rather than trying to cut corners in the name of cost savings.”