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10/08/2020

Survey: Consumers will still visit stores this holiday season despite concerns

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Concerns about shopping in-store will affect traffic patterns this holiday season.  

More than one-quarter (27%) of consumers said they are most likely to shop in-store on weekdays this holiday season, compared to 16% who plan to shop on the weekends, according to Sensormatic’s 2020 Holiday Consumer Survey. 

Sixty-five of survey respondents indicated that they are very concerned or concerned about shopping in-store this holiday season. Still, 43% of the respondents said they are shopping in-store to browse for gift ideas and 39% are doing so to see or touch products in-person before buying them. Only 4% are shopping in-store to get advice from sales associates.

Of those who will be shopping in-store, 72% plan to do so at freestanding stores or strip centers. Almost half plan to shop at enclosed malls (49%), outlets (49%) and open-air shopping centers (46%).

Other survey findings are below.
•    Eighty-percent respondents said they would use buy online, ship to home services this holiday shopping season. This was followed by in-store shopping (39%) and other fulfillment services such as buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) (33%) and buy online, curbside pickup (33%).

•    Consumers expect to spend most of their holiday shopping budget on clothing/apparel (65%), electronics (51%) and toys, books & other media (44%).

•    Forty-three percent have already started or plan to start their holiday shopping as early as October.

“Despite concerns about COVID-19, many consumers still plan to shop in-store this holiday season and others will take advantage of services like BOPIS or curbside,” said Kim Melvin, global leader of marketing, Sensormatic Solutions, which is part of Johnson Controls. “For in-store shopping, this requires retailers to provide their customers with a safe and comfortable experience. Real-time occupancy tracking solutions can help by not only ensuring retailers comply with social distancing guidelines, but also optimizing cleaning schedules for high-touch areas and providing a better understanding of staffing needs both inside and outside the store.”