NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The biggest shopping days of the season are right around the corner and consumers are ready to hit the stores. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 41% of consumers plan to head to the stores on Black Friday, 18% of consumers plan to shop in a physical store on Thanksgiving, and 32% of consumers will hit the stores on the following Saturday and/or Sunday.
Additionally, the Monday following the holiday weekend, also known as Cyber Monday, is not just for online shopping, as more than one-third (36%) of consumers plan to go to a physical store that day – highlighting the need for physical store presence and the omni-channel experience.
Younger consumers are the most likely to shop in physical stores Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday, with 25-34 year-olds most likely to shop in a store on Thanksgiving (32%) and Millennials (18-24 year-olds) most likely to shop in stores on Black Friday (63%).
Of those consumers planning to shop in store on Thanksgiving Day, the number one reason cited by 51% is to get a head-start on bargains. However, deals and promotions aren’t the only reason for a Thanksgiving shopping trip – 45% of those consumers said it is an opportunity for a fun outing with family and friends.
Furthermore, a greater proportion of shopping center visitors on Thanksgiving Day will engage in an experiential activity – such as a philanthropic effort like a food or clothing drive, an activity such as a movie or ice skating, attending a holiday event such as a tree lighting or concert, getting a picture with Santa or going out to eat. On Thanksgiving Day, 62% of shoppers will also engage in a non-shopping activity, compared to 52% on Saturday or Sunday and just 45% on Black Friday itself.
“While shopping and bargain-hunting is certainly still synonymous with the Black Friday shopping weekend, our research found that many consumers will also use these outings to spend time with family and friends, as well as take advantage of holiday activities and entertainment being offered in shopping centers,” said Jesse Tron, spokesperson for ICSC. “It certainly speaks to the notion that shopping centers are the host of the holidays in more ways than one – they of course are places of commerce – but are clearly an experiential destination for consumers as well.”
Consumers continue to make use of mobile and online tools even when in a store or shopping center to enjoy a fully omni-channel experience. The survey found that 45% of shoppers expect to use a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to research holiday-related items or gifts while in a physical store, with Millennials as the most likely demographic to participate in webrooming. Of those consumers planning to use their mobile devices to research purchases while in-store, six out of 10 (61%) say they will buy the item in store as opposed to online, 27% will buy from their device and 12% won’t buy anything. The top five reasons consumers cited as to why they would buy in-store were: (1) they wanted to touch and feel the product, (2) they didn’t want to pay for shipping, (3) they wanted instant gratification and didn’t want to wait for shipping, (4) they felt the store would offer a better price than online and (5) because it was more convenient. The ranking of reasons varied little across gender or income group – however the most noticeable difference was that the Millennial age group listed the “need to immediately have the item (instant gratification) and not wait for it to be shipped” as the number one reason to buy in-store.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 67,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.