ICSC: Brick-And-Mortar Stores Set For Solid Holiday Season

The International Council of Shopping Centers is predicting a 3.3% year-over-year growth in retail sales at brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season.

In ICSC’s “Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey,” respondents said they plan to spend an average of $683.90 this year, with 91% of holiday shoppers planning to make purchases in brick-and-mortar locations. The proportion increases to 96% when taking into account holiday shoppers who will spend online with retailers that have a physical presence.

That being said, ICSC acknowledged that holiday shoppers expect an omnichannel experience this season, with 85% of survey respondents stating that they would research online before making holiday purchases in store. In addition, 39% said they would take advantage of click and collect services, up from 32% in the holiday season last year. In the survey, 83% of shoppers picking up online purchases in stores said they would make additional purchases at the location when picking up their digital order.

According to the study, 96% will spend in store or online through a retailer with a brick-and-mortar presence; 59% will spend at Amazon.com; 44% will spend online at brick-and-mortar retailers and ship what they purchase home; 39% will spend online at brick-and-mortar retailers and pick up items in store; 21% will spend at all other pure online retailers; and 23% will spend at catalog retailers and via phone orders.

Reasons consumers give for shopping in store include the ability to see, touch or try on merchandise, at 52%, the ability to purchase an item immediately, at 50%, wanting to avoid shipping costs, at 42%, ease of returning or exchanging an item, at 35%, and the convenience of one-stop shopping, at 31%.

“We continue to see positive consumer spending intentions ahead of the holiday season, with an emphasis on shopping in physical stores,” said Tom McGee, ICSC president and CEO. “Throughout 2016, consumers have demonstrated a tendency to shop across both digital and physical retail. Even shoppers who purchase online favor retailers with a physical presence and an increasing number of consumers are buying online and collecting in stores. Consumer intentions show that this digital and physical convergence will be critical for the health of the industry as we close out the year.”