NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As the number of days before Christmas wind down, holiday shopping will be heating up. Consumers still have nearly half (44 percent) of their holiday shopping left to do and 92 percent of them will be heading out to stores in force over the coming weekend to shop, dine, see a movie and/or attend a holiday related event, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) latest consumer survey.
“Shopping centers and malls are clearly the hub of both shopping and social interaction this holiday season,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO, ICSC. “This latest consumer data mirrors the impressive strength we currently see in the shopping center industry from an operating metrics standpoint. This is great news for the American economy as shopping centers are a major contributor to the overall fiscal health of our economy, with sales equaling approximately 15 percent of total U.S. GDP. With occupancy rates of 94 percent, the industry is thriving.”
While brick-and-mortar is the dominant channel, digital has played a significant role in how people shop. In the days leading up to Christmas, 37 million consumers will buy something online and pick it up at a store. Of these shoppers, 76 percent will purchase additional items in the store where they retrieved their purchase and nearly half (48 percent) will purchase an item at an adjacent store. Furthermore, before heading out to the stores this coming weekend, 62 percent of shoppers will do research online ahead of time.
“What we are seeing is a story of convergence. It’s not a bricks versus clicks story – it’s really a bricks and clicks story,” McGee noted. “The store has become the central point of the physical and digital shopping experience. We know that over 90 percent of all sales occur in a physical location, but digital channels are really starting to drive people to the physical and influence how they shop once they get there. Online has created a savvier and more motivated consumer who is further to the point of purchase by the time they hit the store,” McGee added.
The survey confirms that the 2015 holiday season is thriving. Holiday shoppers are on pace to spend an average of $630 for gifts/holiday-related items – a cumulative total of $140 billion. Throw food, beverage, and personal services related to the holidays into the mix for the upcoming days until Christmas, and holiday shoppers’ total expenditure increases to $737 per consumer.
“We’ve seen an elongated season which has been very similar to 2014,” said Jesse Tron, consumer and retail spokesman, ICSC. “Consumers still have a hefty portion of their shopping left to complete – on par with last year – but are significantly behind the 2013 rate of completion. We expect the last few days leading up to Christmas to be a flurry of shopping activity.”
Looking ahead, promotions will affect 57 percent of American adults in terms of how much they plan to spend on remaining holiday-related purchases. Furthermore, 37 percent of U.S. adults believe that deals, promotions and discounts will be better than those found thus far. Younger consumers are even more optimistic with more than half (52 percent) of consumers between the ages of 18-24 believing this.
From now through Christmas, 79 percent of American adults will make a purchase on food, beverages and/or personal services related to the holidays. The average American consumer will spend $93 on food and beverages related to holiday events and parties during this time.
The 2015 ICSC Super Saturday Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from December 11-13, 2015. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,020 adults 18 years of age and older.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren’t only fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.