Best Days for Crowd-Free Holiday Shopping

Andrew A. Nelles/APShoppers along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue on Black Friday.By Cameron Huddleston

The crowds showed up in stores in full force over the long holiday weekend. More than 92 million people shopped on Black Friday this year — up from 89 million last year, according to the National Retail Federation. And nearly 45 million consumers took advantage of retailers’ discounts on Thanksgiving Day this year.

Shoppers are expected to continue flocking to malls and shops on the weekends leading up to Christmas — especially on Saturday, Dec. 21, according to ShopperTrak, which analyzes retail traffic. “There’s a reason Black Friday and the Saturday before Christmas attract the heaviest crowds — retailers flood consumers with discounts and special offers on those days,” said ShopperTrak Founder and Executive Vice President Bill Martin in a press release. Consumers don’t have to battle the crowds, though, to get deals and better customer service, Martin said.

If you’re looking for a crowd-free shopping experience, here are the 10 days (starting with the least busy) that are expected to have the smallest amount of foot traffic in stores this holiday season, according to ShopperTrak. Dec. 4, Wednesday Dec. 3, Tuesday Dec. 2, Monday Dec. 11, Wednesday Dec. 9, Monday Dec. 10, Tuesday Dec. 6, Friday Dec. 13, Friday Dec. 12, Thursday Dec. 16, Monday The stores won’t be busy on these days because they are all weekdays and most shoppers will be taking a break following the big-spending Black Friday weekend. But given the proximity to Black Friday, a good selection of discounted merchandise will likely still be in stores, according to ShopperTrak.

So you might want to take advantage of these opportunities to do your shopping without competing with the crowds if you still have items to check off on your gift list.

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