Pat Kothman shops for gifts at Puzzles Plus at The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek Thursday, Dec. 19. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Malls, stores gear up for ‘Super Saturday’ weekend

Miami Valley shopping malls are extending their hours this weekend to help snag as many shopping dollars as possible during what for many stores is the most lucrative sales days of the year.

This year’s late Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) reduced the number of shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas Day, magnifying the importance of this “Super Saturday” weekend to retailers’ bottom lines.

Steady job gains, a low unemployment rate and rising wages have buoyed consumer confidence, and economists have predicted that this year’s holiday shopping season would be a robust one. The National Retail Federation, for example, predicted that holiday retail sales would increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent to as much as $730.7 billion.

But U.S. retail sales rose at a barely perceptible pace in November, and the holiday shopping season appeared to get off to a slow start, perhaps hampered by nasty weather across much of the Midwest during the month. A strong sales rebound this weekend would go a long way toward lifting retailers’ spirits, and the weather forecast appears favorable.

For Dayton-area retailers, both the Friday and Saturday before Christmas are bigger sales days than Black Friday, according to San Francisco-based software company Womply, which analyzed transaction data at 52,000 retail shops across the U.S. for every day of the 2018 calendar year to find out when these retailers are busiest, and issued a summary of its findings specific to the Dayton region.

“Panic Week,” the last full week before Christmas, is “massive for local retailers in Dayton,” and the Saturday before Christmas is the top revenue day of the entire year for stores across the region, Womply officials said in a release.

Dave Duebber, general manager of the Dayton Mall, said his retail center is “gearing up for a huge final push.”

This weekend will be “a very busy weekend for Christmas shopping and is traditionally the busiest time for jewelry stores in particular,” Duebber said. “Many retailers are running their final sales promotions before Christmas, so there are a lot of tremendous deals to be found for shoppers. We are expecting very heavy and steady traffic from now through Christmas Eve. We would encourage shoppers to take advantage of the extended hours either by coming out earlier in the morning or later at night if they want to avoid the big crowds.”

The Dayton Mall’s opening and closing hours extend by one hour today when the retail center will open at 8 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Those extended hours will continue each day through Monday. The mall’s department stores have also extended their hours as well, some as late as midnight, Duebber said.

On Christmas Eve day, Dec. 24, the Dayton Mall will open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. The mall is closed Christmas Day, and will reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 26.

The Mall at Fairfield Commons’ holiday hours are identical to the Dayton Mall’s.

The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek also is extending hours. It will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday Dec. 22, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

“Traffic has been exceptional this holiday shopping season, and we are looking forward to another large shopping weekend with Super Saturday,” Kelli Jett, The Greene’s marketing director, said. “The weather forecast is perfect for holiday shopping.”

At Cincinnati Premium Outlets in Monroe is hosting what it calls the “Ultimate Holiday Outlet Sale” through Tuesday, which “provides shoppers discounts on top of everyday savings of up to 65 percent off over 100 sought-after brands,” a spokeswoman for the retail center said.

Extended hours for Cincinnati Premium Outlets will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday Dec. 22, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

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