Walmart readies for Super Saturday

One-third of U.S. consumers plan to shop for last-minute holiday gifts on Super Saturday, according to in-person interviews with more than 2,200 Walmart (NYSE:WMT) shoppers across the country.

To help procrastinators on the last Saturday before Christmas, Walmart has created designated areas near the front of its stores with popular gifts such as stocking stuffers, gift sets and gift cards.

In addition, any gifts ordered on the big-box retailer's website by Dec. 23 are available for free same day pickup in stores on Dec. 24.

"Over the past few years, we've noticed a trend in customers waiting until the last minute to finish their shopping," said Scott McCall, senior VP of merchandising for Walmart U.S. "While many customers start their Christmas shopping in November, the majority don't put their lists away until Dec. 24. Our stores are ready to help customers get everything they need from top toys and electronics to stocking stuffers, cookies for Santa and the easiest present to give: the gift card."

Shoppers of the survey admit to waiting so long because 40 percent are busy with other holiday activities, while 36 percent are just procrastinating.

Across the country, 42 percent of customers do a majority of shopping in December, with 36 percent planning to shop on Super Saturday. The city with the highest percentage of planned shoppers is Las Vegas, with 76 percent, followed by a three-way tie between Phoenix; Kansas City, Missouri; and Columbus, Ohio, 62 percent.

Top purchases on the big day will be electronics, 23 percent, holiday meal items, 22 percent, stocking stuffers,  21 percent, holiday party items, 17 percent, and alcohol, 17 percent.

As of Dec. 10, U.S. consumers had finished 52.9 percent of their holiday shopping, up just slightly from 49.9 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation's latest Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

As of November, retail sales were up 0.6 percent over the same month last year. The gain was on track with the NRF's holiday sales forecast predictions, which anticipate a 4.1 percent total increase over the season in 2013.

For more:
-See this Walmart press release

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