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2016 Holiday Spending Up, Omnichannel Retailers See Most Success

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released its Post-Holiday Shopping Survey. With an average of $711 paid for gifts and holiday-related items, holiday shoppers spent 16 percent more in 2016 than 2015's post-holiday survey results that averaged $611. Consumers spent 4 percent more than they thought they would as measured in ICSC's Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey in October.

"Consumer confidence continued to improve into December and we saw this optimism reflected in the holiday spending numbers," said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. "The strong holiday shopping season suggests a positive environment for retail sales overall."

Consumers spent an average of $897 on gifts and related items, dining, movies and other entertainment experiences at malls and shopping centers this holiday season, according to Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC. It used a sample of 1,030 adults in the United States who were at least 18 years of age. It found Gen X spent the most, averaging $1,000, followed by Baby Boomers' $875 and Millennials' $867.

Almost 70 percent of total holiday related expenditures occurred in stores with both a physical and an online presence. Further, the physical store proved paramount to the shopping experience again this year, with 91 percent of holiday shoppers spending at physical stores, the exact same percentage as 2015.

"The convergence of physical and digital continues to be important as consumers have come to expect an integrated experience allowing them to buy products through a variety of channels," continued Tom McGee. "The survey data proves that omnichannel retailers are the real winners this season as they offer purchasing options that satisfy the shopping behaviors of all generations."

Of those who bought items online from a retailer with a physical store and picked up in-store, 61 percent made an additional purchase in-person. That was an even higher 75 percent for Millennials. In fact, 81 percent of Millennials visited a shopping center this holiday season, more than any other generation, including Baby Boomers' 62 percent and Gen X's 73 percent. While Millennials relied on technology and mobile in either researching their item or purchasing it, 77 percent said it was important to them to buy online from stores that have a physical presence.

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email