Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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More Americans are plan- ning holiday-related pur- chases this year than last, and they will spend more over a longer time period. Roughly 90 percent of those surveyed in ICSC's Consumer Fore- cast this year say they plan to make holiday purchases, up from 82 percent of those surveyed last year. Some 80 percent say they will spend the same amount or more this year than last year. The survey, conducted between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, polled about 2,000 consumers at least 18 years of age. Holiday shoppers will spend an average of $702 per household this season (up from $677 last year), and broken down into $575 for holiday gifts and $127 for such things as decora- tions and greeting cards. The highest-income group polled — households earning at least $100,000 per year — will be spending $1,062 per house- hold, on average, while those with annual income less than $35,000 will be spending $500 per household. "With gas prices and unemployment down and housing prices up, holiday shoppers are heading into the season with increased confidence in their spend- ing power," said ICSC s p o k e s m a n J e s s e T r o n . "While certain headwinds exist, such as uncertainty in global financial markets and minimal wage growth in the U.S., the positive macro- economic trends are likely to win out and propel retail sales throughout the holiday season. As a result, it appears to be shaping up as a solid season for retailers, and, if ICSC's forecast holds, one that would better the average of the previous 10 seasons by 1.5 percentage points." Americans are starting their holiday shopping ear- lier, and the stragglers are pushing later. This year two-thirds will begin shop- ping before Thanksgiving Day. Only 7 percent expect to be done by Thanksgiv- ing, however, while 65 per- cent aim to have their holi- day shopping completed by Dec. 15. Some are looking to do their holiday shop- ping on actual holidays: 12 percent plan on Thanksgiv- ing Day and 8 percent on Christmas Eve. One of the year's biggest retail holidays, Black Friday, remains a big draw: 41 percent of the re- spondents said they plan to take advantage of promo- tional sales on that day. About 95 percent of holi- day shoppers intend to make a purchase in a physical store this year. Nearly 50 percent of the respondents said they like to be able to see, touch and try on the merchandise, while nearly 40 percent said they do not want to have to pay shipping costs. About 30 percent said the sales they want are typically offered only in-store, while nearly as many said they find it easier to return or exchange items at a store, and 27 percent said they enjoy the conve- nience of one-stop shopping. Mr. Claus remains a top draw, with about half of the respondents who have young children saying they plan to take them to visit Santa at a shopping center this season. ICSC is forecasting year- over-year growth of 3.3 percent for retail sales this season (November and De- cember). Such a pace would be significantly ahead of the 10-year holiday sales-growth average of 1.8 percent, and slightly ahead of the current pace of 2.8 percent. Among the notable growth catego- ries are furniture and home furnishings (at 4.9 percent), clothing and clothing-access stores (3.3 percent), health and personal-care stores (3.3 percent), and electron- ics and appliance stores (1.1 percent). D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 / S C T 11 HOLIDAY SHOPPERS PREFER BRICKS '' Nearly 50 percent of respondents said they like to be able to see, touch and try on the merchandise, while 40 percent said they don't want to pay shipping costs. "

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