ICSC: Shoppers to spend $470 during Thanksgiving weekend

Marianne Wilson

Most (85%) shoppers expect to shop in the period that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday. 

That’s according to the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Thanksgiving Weekend Intentions survey, which projected that consumers will spend $470 on holiday items during the course of the holiday weekend. Among those planning to shop, 44% expect to spend more than they did last year. 

The study revealed that the volume of shoppers visiting stores is expected to drop this year largely due to concerns over COVID-19. Sixty-nine percent of respondents indicated that they would spend in a physical store, down from 84%. ICSC also attributed the dip to retailers’ extended promotions cycles. 

For the first time, deals and promotions did not rank as respondents’ top determinant when choosing where to shop during Thanksgiving weekend. Instead, 36% indicated COVID-19 precautions would be the top factor, emphasizing the need for retailers to provide a safe environment and communicate the measures they are taking.

ICSC’s research also reveals growing interest in omnichannel formats, a sign that retailers capable of meeting demand both online and in-person will be best positioned for success in this unprecedented holiday season, the group said. Nearly all (91%) of respondents plan to buy from retailers with omnichannel offerings, with these retailers projected to capture 67% of total expenditures. 

Other highlights from the survey are below.

•    Sixty-nine percent of respondents expect to spend from pure online vendors, up from 58% in 2019, accounting for 29% of total expenditure.

•    Even in this year’s COVID-19 environment, 52% of respondents believe Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday promotions remain as important as ever—down only 1% from 2019.

•    Fifty-one percent expect to shop on Thanksgiving Day and 72% expect to do so on Black Friday, both figures are in line with the 2019 season. Seventy-three percent of respondents will shop on Cyber Monday.

“Malls and shopping centers are historically a hub for holiday tradition and festivity, so the holiday season may feel different this year as retail spaces contend with the challenges of COVID-19,” said McGee. “Nevertheless, as our survey clearly indicates, consumers’ enthusiasm for Thanksgiving Weekend shopping remains strong.”

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