More evidence of the strong U.S. economy during the Trump administration came over last weekend, as sales across the country on Saturday reached the highest level ever recorded.
Bloomberg reported, “Holiday shopping set records over the weekend, with Super Saturday sales reaching $34.4 billion, the biggest single day in U.S. retail history, according to Customer Growth Partners.” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, credited job growth and the abundance of disposable income for the record-setting day, adding, “Paced by the ‘Big Four’ mega-retailers — Walmart, Amazon, Costco and Target — Super Saturday was boosted by the best traffic our team has seen in years.”
Johnson noted that 58% of the increase in sales could be attributed to sales online. On Black Friday 2019, the day after Thanksgiving, the nation recorded $31.2 billion; on Saturday, December 14, the level reached $28.1 billion, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, the level of sales reached $19.1 billion.
Johnson said that less people visited malls over the weekend but the ones who did were more likely to actually purchase items rather than simply window-shopping. CNN offered an explanation for the downturn in mall shopping:
Today’s consumers are also drawn to the street retail experience that the suburban mall, ironically enough, helped drive into decline. Historic Main Street retail corridors are seeing something of a renaissance. Across the top 30 US metro areas, retail space in these walkable urban laces commands an astounding 83% rent premium over regional averages — an increase of 17% since 2010 … Even big-box retailers, such as Walmart and Target, are adapting to this competitive reality by building smaller urban store formats. In fact, growth in digital shopping is actually promoting retail growth in some locations — such as dense residential areas — due to a positive “halo effect” where online sales increase in neighborhoods where the retailer has a brick-and-mortar presence.
John Sexton of HotAir commented, “I can see this playing out where I live here in southern California. The nearest traditional mall was booming 20 years ago (Sears and Macy’s were anchor stores) but by 2010 it was on the decline and often had a lot of vacant space. Sears finally closed about a year ago. Now a significant portion of the lower level of that mall has been taken over by a massive Dave and Busters style restaurant for kids which features a large arcade and full size amusement rides. Upstairs is an equally large trampoline park.”
Michael Greenberg, the CEO of Retina, told Yahoo News, “I think what we’re going to see is a shift toward this concept of lifetime value; it’s something that’s already been realized in more traditional industries, like airlines, and now retailers are starting to realize they have predictive power as well. So people are no longer that first purchase, but really that lifetime relationship with the business … I do think it’s going to become mission-critical in the year ahead where you cannot acquire a customer unless you know a priori what they’re going to be worth over the next two or three years.”
Johnson concluded of Saturday’s record-setting day, “The question now is whether today’s stellar momentum leads to sustained economic growth into 2020 and beyond.”