2023 Small Business Saturday Sees $17 Billion in Spending
American Express has released results from the 14th annual Small Business Saturday event.
About this year’s sales:
According to initial projections via the Amex 2023 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, consumers in the United States spent a total of $17 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday. That figure puts it below last year’s $17.9 billion total and well off the record $23.3 billion seen in 2021. In total, though, Small Business Saturday has now generated more than $201 billion in sales since the retail holiday debuted in 2010.
Elsewhere in the report, it was discovered that 59% of U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday visited an independently owned retailer or restaurant on the day. Of those, 61% stated that they were likely to return to and become a regular customer of the business. Additionally, 41% said they went to these small business locations with friends, family, or neighbors.
The survey also found that 86% of Small Business Saturday shoppers made in-store purchases. Meanwhile, 53% reported buying from independent retailers online compared to 34% who shopped larger outlets.
What they’re saying:
In a press release announcing the figures from this year’s Small Business Saturday, Amex CMO Elizabeth Rutledge said, “It’s inspiring to see the enormous enthusiasm communities show as they get out to shop or dine at small businesses. Small Business Saturday truly brings people together, creating wonderful connections and driving spend at local businesses. For American Express, it’s a testament to why we continue to invest in and celebrate the day.”
Amex also shared the story of Chicago’s Candyality, which has celebrated every Small Business Saturday to date. Owner Terese Lang McDonald said of the annual event, “When we first opened our shop, it was during the holidays. We look to Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to celebrate another year of bringing something special to our community – with old and new customers.”
Obviously $17 billion in sales is nothing to scoff at. Still, it is interesting that these figures continue to retreat from the 2021 record. There are likely good reasons for this, though — including the fact that 2021 will long be seen as an anomaly due to the unique circumstances involving the pandemic. On top of that, just as retailers have been elongating Black Friday into a multi-week event, the same could be true of small businesses. In other words, the emphasis on Small Business Saturday itself may be declining slightly even though the spirit of the “holiday” is potentially growing.
Regardless, hopefully this still-strong start signals a prosperous holiday season for small businesses everywhere.