Super Saturday comes early this year for shoppers, retailers

Pentagon City, Saturday, December 17. Photo: Bob Bennett/ABC7

(ABC News/WJLA) - To shop or not to shop? That is the question when so-called Super Saturday falls a week early.

For many merchants, today is Super Saturday, which by some estimates is the busiest shopping day of the year, even exceeding huge shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

But this year's calendar is a bit different, so retailers are pulling out all the stops with big sales to get shoppers in the door today

So just where are those deals? And the other big question: is next Saturday an even better day to score big bargains?

Super Saturday--a day of huge savings and deep discounts--normally falls on the last Saturday before Christmas.

But this year, that day is Christmas Eve, leaving just hours for retailers to unload all of that holiday merchandise.

That's why several national chains including Macy's, Sears and J C Penney will celebrate Super Saturday today, December 17th.

Yet others, like Skechers, Victoria's Secret and Banana Republic are sticking with the 24th.

This scheduling snafu is a big deal for desperate retailers. While Thanksiving weekend might have set sales records, the drop in the following two weeks of 2.4 percent was the biggest since 2000.

The stakes are even higher when you consider more customers than ever are having buyers' remorse.

For every dollar stores take in this holiday season, they'll have to give back 9.9 cents in returns, according to the National Retail Federation. In better economic times, it's about 7 cents.