Brick-and-Mortar Retail Represents Big Savings Opportunity for Consumers, Per New ICSC Survey

Cost Savings in Physical Retail Stores as High as 30 percent over Online Prices

NEW YORK--()--The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) today released a new report which revealed that consumers have an advantage when it comes to finding better deals in brick and mortar stores, as compared to online. Specific categories, including beauty products, women’s apparel, women’s accessories and women’s shoes were significantly less expensive in-store, for the same products, with an average cost savings of seven percent across those categories.

Women’s Apparel Pricing Favors In-Store

Women’s clothing purchased in stores performs particularly well in comparison with the same items sold online. Overall, consumers would have saved up to nine percent by shopping in stores for the women’s clothing included in our study.

  • 19% savings: Athletic wear
  • 10% savings: Pants/jeans/shorts
  • 8% savings: Shirts/blouses/tops
  • 2% savings: Dresses

Beauty Brings Big Savings to Brick-and-Mortar

Within the beauty category, there was an average price savings of six percent for the same items purchased in a store.

  • 27% savings: Lotions
  • 22% savings: Bath/cleansers
  • 15% savings: Hair products
  • 14% savings: Makeup

Accessories at Lower Cost Offers Variety to Consumers

Women’s accessories were five percent less expensive in-store than online.

  • 30% savings: Jewelry (non-genuine gemstone)
  • 5% savings: Hat/sunglasses/scarves
  • 1% savings: Purse/totes/backpacks

Footwear for Women at Significantly Reduced Price

Women’s shoes, on average, were seven percent less expensive in brick-and-mortar stores.

  • 18% savings: Sandals
  • 9% savings: Athletic shoes
  • 6% savings: Boot/casual/flats

Consumers have shown a preference to shopping in a store rather than online, as seen by ICSC’s 2016 Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey. Top reasons include being able to touch, see and try the merchandise as well as immediate gratifications of taking the product home.

“There’s no replacement for the social and emotional aspects of going shopping nor the ability consumers have to touch, see and try out merchandise when they visit a physical store,” said ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee. “The convergence of digital and physical creates the added benefit of being able to price compare, research and evaluate purchasing options so consumers make better informed decisions while shopping.”


ICSC conducted research and reviewed several sources comparing prices of goods online and prices of goods in-store, studying 547 products across several categories at 124 stores across the country in June 2016. Tax and shipping costs were not factored into the pricing comparisons.

About ICSC

ICSC serves the global retail real estate industry. We provide our 70,000+ member network in over 100 countries with invaluable resources, connections and industry insights, and actively work together to shape public policy. For more information about ICSC visit


Stephanie Cegielski, (646) 728-3572


Stephanie Cegielski, (646) 728-3572