ICSC: 85% of holiday shoppers plan to spend money in physical stores

Marianne Wilson
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A new forecast is bullish on in-store and mall shopping for the holiday season.

Eight-five percent of shoppers plan to spend money in physical stores, according to ICSC’s Annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey.  Of the shoppers who intend to use click-and-collect, 72% said are likely to make additional purchases while picking up their original online order

ICSC is forecasting an 8.9% year-over-year increase in November-December sales with the total expected to reach $923 billion. The survey found that the average holiday shopper is planning to spend an average of $637 on gifts and other holiday-related items.

The decision by consumers to shop in-store continues to be driven by the ability to see, touch and try on merchandise (37%), the ability to get the item immediately (34%) and the ability to browse for new gift ideas (30%). More than three-fourths of consumers will visit malls and shopping centers to shop, dine and use personal services, the study found.

ICSC anticipates that shopping season will be longer this year, with 75% of shoppers expecting to start earlier than they normally would. The top reasons for starting earlier this year are to ensure products are available (45%), to take advantage of early deals (42%), and to ensure products are delivered on time (42%).

“Concerns around supply chain issues, shipping delays and inflation are weighing heavily on the minds of consumers and driving them to begin their holiday shopping earlier than usual,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO, ISCS. “We expect to see strong consumer activity despite these challenges, but it’s critical that retailers and consumers alike plan ahead and do everything they can to mitigate supply chain issues to ensure a successful holiday season.”

Other findings from the survey are below:

• Holiday shoppers plan to take full advantage of retailers’ omnichannel options, which is likely to boost e-commerce sales 13% over last year according to the report.

• Ninety-percent of adults, or 231 million people, plan to make holiday-related purchases this year, and 78% of shoppers anticipate spending the same or more this holiday season. Additionally, ICSC forecasts that consumers will spend time and money dining out this year with food and beverage establishments seeing a 35.4% year-over-year growth.

• Deals and promotions will remain an important part of retailers’ strategy this holiday season, with 80% of shoppers saying deals play a role in their holiday purchases.

• Nearly half of consumers say that the holiday season will encourage them to make more trips to physical stores and 38% plan their shopping around specific promotional events.

The ICSC Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey was conducted online by Engine Insights on behalf of ICSC September 24 – 26, 2021. The survey represents a demographically representative sample of 1,005 respondents.