Retailers are gearing up for another successful Thanksgiving Weekend as consumers plan to spend an average of $554.90 with $207.30 dedicated to holiday gifts, according to a new survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

Omnichannel retailers stand to benefit the most

Ninety-three percent of shoppers plan to spend with retailers that have both a physical and a digital presence. Furthermore, of the shoppers planning to buy online and pick-up in store, 77 percent indicate they are likely to spend additional money at that store or adjacent stores. Consumers’ pre-Black Friday expectations echo ICSC’s recent landmark Halo Effect study, which illustrated the synergy between stores and web traffic. The study indicated that having a physical store increased web traffic an average of 37 percent, and, similarly, closing a store decreases web traffic to a retailer’s site.

“It’s clear that having a strong physical and digital presence continues to drive sales—and Black Friday is no exception,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, in a news release. “This year’s survey results once again show that consumers want options and will shop both in-store and online throughout the holiday season.”

A total of 71 percent of Thanksgiving Weekend shoppers will go to a shopping center or mall during the weekend, with Millennials—long-considered the “online” generation—leading the pack at 83 percent.

Non-shopping activities will also be a significant draw for consumers that weekend. 89 percent of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers plan to go to malls or shopping centers to eat, see a movie, and partake in holiday-specific revelry like visiting Santa.

Forecasts underscore strong consumer confidence

As consumer confidence hits its highest levels in almost two decades, retailers anticipate big spending this holiday season. Overall, nearly half (46 percent) of the weekend’s shoppers plan to spend more this year than they did last year.

  • 65 percent will spend on holiday-related items like decorations and cards
  • 87 percent will be hitting discount department stores such as Target and Walmart, while 66 will spend at dollar/variety stores and 65 will shop at department stores.

Tis the season for spending

While 45 percent plan to visit stores on Black Friday, robust spending is expected to continue throughout the holiday season, with 28 percent spending on that Saturday or Sunday and 26 percent shopping on Cyber Monday.

Interestingly, 78 percent of respondents plan to buy toys in discount department stores like Walmart and Target—more than any other category—signaling an important role for brick-and-mortar retail in meeting that need.

The ICSC Holiday Intention Forecast Survey was conducted online by Engine Insights on behalf of ICSC from November 1-4, 2018. The survey is a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,004 adults 18 years of age and older.

Want more like this?

Subscribe to get daily or weekly PR News updates from Bulldog Reporter

Bulldog Reporter

Bulldog Reporter

Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.


ICYMI: Bulldog’s Top 10 posts from November

We had another awesome month of engagement in November, with a nice range of articles making up our Top 10 most read—including a handful of new research-based posts about Gen Z’s preference for “sensory journalism,” new metrics for measuring the ROI of social good,...

Why you should thoroughly audit your social media presence

The way most people, especially younger generations, will experience your brand is through your company’s online presence, particularly on social media. People care about what is said on social media and the overall message you are putting across. There is no other...

Closing the CX gap—why consumers say marketers are doing it wrong

Despite increasing investment from brands in marketing technology, nearly half of consumers say brands aren’t meeting their expectations when it comes to the customer experience (CX)—and even fewer remember the last time a brand exceeded expectations, according to...