REAL ESTATE

Consumer holiday spending to climb 4.5%; promotions will be key

BY Marianne Wilson

A new holiday forecast offers more good news for retailers.

Shoppers will spend $807 billion on holiday gifts and other item this year, an increase of 4.5% over last year, with $685 billion spent on gifts and other items and $122 billion on food and beverage, according to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

According to ICSC, 84% of shoppers will visit a mall or shopping center throughout the holidays, and retailers who embrace omnichannel will benefit the greatest. Of the 40% of consumers who will use click-and-collect, 82% expect to spend additional money at that store.

“Our annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey findings demonstrate that consumers remain confident in the economy,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO, ICSC. “Shoppers want a combination of convenience and experience, and the retailers with the best omnichannel strategy are poised for success this holiday season.”

According to the survey, the average consumer plans to spend $706.40 this holiday season, with $522.00 allotted for gifts. Overall, 92% of U.S. consumers plan to purchase holiday gifts and other holiday items. Over half (54%) plan to spend more this year than last year, with more than one quarter (28%) pointing to a change in job status or income as a factor in their increased spend.

Approximately one in four consumers are planning to buy big-ticket items such as household appliances or jewelry. Forty-percent are expected to buy electronics; 64% plan to buy gift cards; 52% plan to buy apparel and footwear; and 49% plan to buy toys and games.

The survey found that promotions will be one of the biggest influences in purchasing at a physical location this year:
• Overall, 74% of holiday shoppers say that promotions play a role in their holiday shopping.

• 63% plan their holiday shopping around specific promotional events/dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday and/or other big sales.

• 47% state that once they are in a store, the promotions they see influence the holiday purchases they make.

• 20% state they are more influenced by promotions on social media compared with other mediums.

The ICSC survey comes on the heels of the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast, which expects holiday retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — to increase between 4.3% and 4.8% over 2017 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.

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