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Research + Studies

Thanksgiving sales, shopper traffic to rise, report says

November 8, 2018

Physical retailers and retail landlords will have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: The vast majority of the holiday weekend’s shoppers are headed their way, with ambitions to spend more than they did last year.

Specifically, some four-fifths (83 percent) of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers say they plan to buy in brick-and-mortar shops, and nearly three-quarters will visit shopping centers on Thanksgiving Day and/or Black Friday, according to ICSC Research. And they plan to spend more this Thanksgiving than they did last Thanksgiving — to the tune of $555 worth of goods and services over the four-day weekend, up from $470 a year ago. Broken down, $380 (roughly 68 percent) will go toward goods, and $175 (32 percent) will be spent on dining, entertainment, personal services and the like.

Overall, omni-channel retailers will benefit the most, with no fewer than 93 percent of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers planning to patronize those, either online or in-store. Among shoppers who opt for click-and-collect, 77 percent anticipate making an additional purchase when they go to pickup their merchandise at the store.

Some four-fifths of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores this year

“It’s clear that having a strong physical and digital presence continues to drive sales — and Black Friday is no exception,” said Tom McGee, ICSC’s president and CEO. (The organization’s recent “halo effect” study indicates that having stores helps boost retailers’ web traffic.) “This year’s survey results once again show that consumers want options and will shop both in-store and online throughout the holiday season.”

Discount department stores, such as Target and Walmart, will be the most popular retailers over the Thanksgiving weekend, with 87 percent of shoppers saying they intend to spend money at those stores. And these stand to do particularly well in the wake of the demise of Toys ‘R’ Us this past year, with the largest share of U.S. adults (78 percent) saying they intend to patronize them for their toy shopping.

Also busy will be wholesale clubs/supermarkets, which, the survey indicates, will draw some 67 percent of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers; dollar/variety stores (66 percent of shoppers say they will patronize these), traditional department stores (65 percent) and electronics stores (61 percent).

Thanksgiving weekend shoppers say they intend to spend nearly $7 of every $10 over those four days at retailers with physical stores. Shopping centers will be particularly favored among Millennials (83 percent of these shoppers), compared with 75 percent of Gen X-ers and 55 percent of baby boomers.

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT

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