Gen Z holiday shoppers opt for stores over online

Marianne Wilson
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holiday shoppers in mall

Gen Z is technically savvy, but when it comes to holiday shopping they are more likely to head to the mall than the generation that preceded them. 

Gen Z is less likely than millennials and Generation X to shop online, according to a report from The NPD Group. Gen Z is also ready for Black Friday — about bout one-third will start shopping on Black Friday, the highest of all generations.

Gen X and Baby Boomers are planning on spending the most of all generations on holiday shopping. Each generation’s holiday shopping plan looks different, according to insights from NPD’s 2019 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey.  Understanding the similarities and differences in when, where, how much, and what each consumer group plans to spend on will be critical for marketers navigating 2019 holiday season.
“No consumer can be left behind in today’s increasingly competitive retail environment where shoppers demand a more personalized approach than ever before,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “In order to win the holiday retail battle, marketers need to address holiday shoppers across every generation, and also make them feel like they matter.”
Here are some highlights from the study/

• Gen X plans to spend the highest amount of all generations, followed by boomers. Gen X is also the most likely generation to buy clothing/accessories (68%) and entertainment items (44%), and most likely to shop mass merchants (51%) and online pure-plays (77%). About one-fifth will start shopping on Black Friday.

• Boomers will be early out of the gate, with 57% planning to start shopping before Thanksgiving, making them more likely than all other generations to do so.  

• Boomers are more likely than all other generations to shop department stores (24%) and national chains (27%). They are also most likely to purchase liquor or wine as holiday gifts (26%).

• Millennials plan to spend less than their older counterparts (Gen X and Boomers) but one-third plan to spend more than they did in 2018. More than 20% of millennials will start shopping on Black Friday, second only to Gen Z. The vast majority will shop online, but they are also more likely than all other generations to buy electronics (46%) and shop dollar stores (19%).

• Silent Generation shoppers will be important at stores and the last minute. Four out of 10 of these older consumers plan to start shopping late, making them the most likely generation to do so, and only half will shop online. They plan to spend about the same amount as millennials, keeping their spending in line with last year.