Holiday spending better than expected

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Holiday spending better than expected

By Marianne Wilson - 01/03/2017

Initial reports about holiday spending bode well for retailers.

Consumers spent 16% more on holiday purchases this year than in 2015, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers Post-Holiday Shopping Survey.

The report finds that consumers spent an average of $711 on gifts and other holiday-related items this holiday season. This represents a 16% increase over 2015’s post-holiday survey results ($611) and is 4% ($27) above holiday shoppers’ intentions as measured in ICSC’s Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey in October.

“Consumer confidence continued to improve into December and we saw this optimism reflected in the holiday spending numbers,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “The strong holiday shopping season suggests a positive environment for retail sales overall.”

In total, consumers spent an average of $897 on gifts and related items, dining, movies and other entertainment experiences at malls and shopping centers this holiday season.

Gen X spent the most averaging $1,000, followed by Baby Boomers ($875) and Millennials ($867). Experiences accounted for 20% of total consumer holiday expenditure, with Millennials topping this spending category at $220.

More than half (51%) of all holiday shoppers waited until the days leading up to Christmas to complete their shopping, reinforcing the need for retailers to keep pace with technology as it continues to change purchasing habits and give consumers more options.

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