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There has been a 30 percent drop in Saturday shopping purchases since 2004, according to figures published by the credit card clearinghouse Gama.

Not only is the total number of purchases on Saturdays the lowest of any day of the week, but also the value of an average sale on the Sabbath is the lowest, NIS 388 compared to NIS 507, based on credit card purchases.

There are two main reasons for the drop, according to Gama CEO Ariel Ganot. First, stores have extended weekday hours into the evening due to the recession, making it easier for consumers to shop at the end of a regular working day. This particularly applies to malls and shopping centers, which are usually open for more than 12 hours a day.

The second reason is that "Saturday shopping consists of a small purchases, mostly food, clothing, shoes and other small- or medium-sized items for the home," Ganot said. "Large purchases, such as furniture, continue to be made between Sunday and Thursday."

The survey also indicated that the public's favorite shopping day is Tuesday, which replaced the former favorite, Thursday, this year. Tuesday sales represent 21 percent of the total, followed by Sunday, 18 percent, Monday, 16 percent, Thursday, 15 percent, Wednesday, 13 percent, and Friday, 12 percent.

Friday is also characterized by lots of small sales, with the lowest average purchase of any day of the week - NIS 371. Sunday has the highest average purchase value - NIS 602.