November 18, 2019
By Dennis Kaiser
Retailers expect a strong turnout at stores and shopping centers this Thanksgiving Weekend, though there will be more pressure to sell in a short window. This holiday season is the shortest since 2013, and is six days shorter than the 2018 season since Thanksgiving falls on Nov. 28.
Research by ICSC shows 85% of adults will shop during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, and 80% will visit a mall or shopping center. Shoppers anticipate spending an average of $470, which adds up to $101.4 billion over the course of the weekend.
ICSC’s Pre-Black Friday Intentions Survey indicated the busy weekend will see 84% of shoppers spend in a physical store, and 40% of total spending for the four days taking place on Black Friday. ICSC found that 44% of those planning to shop over the weekend will buy online and pick-up in store, and 72% of those shoppers will spend additional money while at the store.
Promotions will influence consumer choices this season: 41% of shoppers say that promotions and loyalty rewards are key factors when choosing where to shop, with in-store promotions having the most influence on purchasing decisions. Shoppers will seek the biggest discounts on electronics and toys, with 37% and 31% of shoppers, respectively, reporting that they’re much less likely to buy those items if the deals are not good enough.
“Promotions have always been a critical part of a retail strategy, and our research shows the same holds true for this Thanksgiving Weekend – almost two-thirds of shoppers plan their holiday shopping around this weekend,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “In-store promotions and their impact on consumer habits are clear evidence of the central role physical retail plays in creating a memorable holiday shopping season.”
Topping the list of items consumers expect to purchase this year include:
– apparel and footwear: 82%
– electronics: 74%
– toys/games: 74%
– food/drink intended as gifts: 72%
Purchases will be made at discount department stores such as Walmart and Target (93%), traditional department stores (73%), supermarkets/ specialty food stores (73%) and electronics stores (67%). The largest portion (28%) of Black Friday shoppers will head out between midnight and 6 a.m., with another 27% anticipating an arrival time between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.
Consumers are looking to spend on more than just gifts, they are also planning to spend on experience. In fact, more than 86% of those shopping over Thanksgiving Weekend plan to take advantage of experiential and non-traditional tenants, including activities like bowling, visiting a salon or watching a movie. Seventy-seven percent plan to dine at restaurants over the course of the weekend, as well.
ICSC’s McGee adds, “The holidays are about spending time with family, friends and loved ones, and there are few places better to do that during the holidays than at a mall or shopping center. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend will see consumers spending time with others while buying gifts and dining out, and taking advantage of all that physical retail has to offer.”
*Photo: The Grove Los Angeles, Credit: Alex Millauer / Shutterstock.com
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