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Press Release

Shoppers Hitting the Stores to Kick Off the Holiday Season

November 9, 2017

Today, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released its 2017 Pre-Black Friday Consumer Survey that maps out consumer expectations for shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Nov. 23-26). The survey reveals that 84 percent of shoppers expect to head to stores over the Thanksgiving weekend and spend an average of $470.20, which is more than half of their anticipated spend for the entire holiday season.

Thanksgiving weekend shoppers intend to spend more this year than they spent last year. Holiday gifts will lead in spending, with 82 percent of shoppers planning to purchase for other people. But gifts aren’t the only reason consumers will be heading to malls and shopping centers, 55 percent will dine and 36 percent will catch a movie.

Omnichannel Aids Consumer Spending

Throughout the year, ICSC has seen consumer preference for omnichannel retailers increase and this Thanksgiving weekend proves to be a continuation of that focus. That weekend, 93 percent of shoppers plan to buy from omnichannel retailers and 43 percent will take advantage of buying online and picking up in-store. The click-and-collect purchases will result in additional purchases with 84 percent of those shoppers buying more when picking up their items.

“Consumer optimism this holiday season is reflected in how people are engaging in Black Friday,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “We believe retailers who embrace omnichannel will see more success than their pureplay counterparts. What’s clear is shoppers are eager to hit the stores to kick-off a busy shopping season.”

Consumers Remain Price Conscious

Consumers are anticipating deals throughout the holiday season. During the Thanksgiving weekend, however, this sentiment is heightened with 85 percent of shoppers expecting their holiday gift purchases to be influenced by deals or promotions. Consumers will make purchases across a vast array of stores but will focus the majority of their efforts where they can get the most for their money.

  • Discount department stores (93%)
  • Dollar/Variety stores (68%)
  • Off-price retail stores (63%)

“Consumers continue to do their research on products in order to seek out the best price available,” added McGee. “We see all types of retailers doing well this holiday season but those stores that allow for a treasure hunt or a deeper discount will likely resonate most with holiday shoppers.”


The ICSC Holiday Intention Forecast Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from November 2-5, 2017. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,026 adults 18 years of age and older.

The ICSC Holiday Forecast figure was derived using an exponential smoothing time series model based on not seasonally adjusted monthly retail sales less the automotive sectors and non-store vendors. The forecast represents the combined November and December year-over-year increase in nominal terms. The constituent retail categories were calculated using the same technique.


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 www.icsc.com.