October 11, 2018
Consumers will hit stores again this holiday season, sustaining the ongoing “retail renaissance” and the convergence of digital and physical, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) found in its annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey. ICSC forecasts that shoppers will spend $807 billion, an increase of 4.5% over last year, with $685 billion being spent on gifts and other holiday items, and $122 billion on food and beverage.
“Our annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey findings demonstrate that consumers remain confident in the economy,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the ICSC. “Shoppers want a combination of convenience and experience, and the retailers with the best omnichannel strategy are poised for success this holiday season.”
Malls and shopping centers will, once again, be bustling with consumers this holiday season. According to ICSC, 84% of shoppers will visit a mall or shopping center throughout the holidays, but the retailers who embrace omnichannel will benefit the greatest. Of the 40% of consumers who will use click-and-collect, 82% expect to spend additional money at that store or tenant, further bolstering retail sales.
Consumer confidence has reached its highest level since October 2000, positioning shoppers to spend big this holiday season. According to ICSC, the average consumer plans to spend $706.40 this holiday season, with $522.00 allotted for gifts. Overall, 92% of U.S. consumers plan to purchase holiday gifts and other holiday items this year. More than half (54%) plan to spend more this year than last year, with more than one quarter (28%) pointing to a change in job status or income as a factor in their increased spend.
The product categories at the top of the holiday shopping list include: roughly one in four plan to buy big-ticket items like household appliances or jewelry; 40% are expected to buy electronics; 64% of consumers plan to buy gift cards; 52% plan to buy apparel and footwear; and 49% plan to buy toys and games.
“The holidays are a time of tradition and community that makes the mall and the local shopping centers the perfect place to be during the holidays,” said McGee. “Retailers are evolving their offerings and presentation to tap into seasonal nostalgia, while still delivering an innovative and convenient experience.”
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