For more specific tips, we had Foursquare pull foot-traffic data from last holiday season to find out when (down to the hour!) you should shop for what. This is what we discovered...
The worst day for shopping is Saturday.
Surprise! The first day of the weekend is the worst. Discount stores and outlets tend to be the most crowded from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., department stores, clothing stores, and accessories stores will be slammed. Beauty gets hit the hardest around 3 p.m.
The best days are Monday and Sundays.
The best time to go to beauty stores is around lunchtime on Mondays, which makes sense — people are probably less likely to duck out of their offices at the beginning of the week. The sweet spot is between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Department stores will be the most bearable when they first open in the morning until noon.
And if you’re looking to ship packages, don’t even think about doing the weekend before Christmas, on December 19th or 20th. You will live to regret it.
Specialty stores are emptier in the evenings; bigger retailers are emptier in the mornings.
Specifically, accessories stores, jewelry stores, and clothing stores are all the most safe on Monday evenings, after 6 p.m. Larger retailers, like department and discount stores, are still best in mornings, especially on Sunday.
But yeah, the internet is probably still best.
No crowds, 24/7. There’s never a bad day or time to shop online.
—Tiffany Yannetta, shopping director