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ICSC: Black Friday weekend store visits, spending is expected to surge

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Omnichannel retailers are positioned to benefit the most from Black Friday weekend.

This was according to “The ICSC Holiday Intention Forecast Survey” from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), which revealed that consumers plan to spend an average of $554.90 Thanksgiving weekend. They will dedicate $207.30 of this budget to holiday gifts. Overall, nearly half (46%) of the weekend’s shoppers plan to spend more this year than they did last year.

Omnichannel retailers could grab the largest portion of this wallet share with 93% of shoppers planning to spend with retailers that have both a physical and a digital presence. Of the shoppers planning to buy online and pick-up in store (BOPIS), 77% indicate they are likely to spend additional money at that store or adjacent stores.

These expectations echo ICSC’s recent “Halo Effect” study, which illustrated the synergy between stores and Web traffic. The study indicated that having a physical store increased web traffic an average of 37%, and, similarly, closing a store decreases web traffic to a retailer’s site.

A total of 71% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers will go to a shopping center or mall during the weekend. Millennials – a customer segment that is long-considered the “online” generation – will lead the pack at 83%.

While 45% of shoppers plan to visit stores on Black Friday, robust spending is expected to continue throughout the holiday season. With 28% spending on that Saturday or Sunday, there will be 26% shopping on Cyber Monday.

Interestingly, 78% of respondents plan to buy toys in discount department stores like Walmart and Target – more than any other category – signaling an important role for brick-and-mortar retail in meeting that need.

Other findings include:
• 65% of shoppers will spend on holiday-related items like decorations and cards
• 87% will be hitting discount department stores, such as Target and Walmart, while 66% will spend at dollar/variety stores, and 65% will shop at department stores.

“It’s clear that having a strong physical and digital presence continues to drive sales – and Black Friday is no exception,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “This year’s survey results once again show that consumers want options and will shop both in-store and online throughout the holiday season.”

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