Over 600-Million Consumers to Visit Nation’s Shopping Centers Prior to Christmas Day

ICSC Consumer Survey affirms significance of Omni-channel experience
this holiday season:
Millennials between the ages of 18-24, visit
shopping centers 10-times a week

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With the holiday season well underway, consumers will be flocking to
their local shopping centers for all the essentials they need to make
their season bright according to a consumer survey by the International
Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Between now and Christmas Day
consumers will visit a shopping center on average 6.5 times a week for
goods and services spending on average $147.00 a week. This translates
into a whopping $4.3 billion dollars a day in sales or $30 billion
dollars a week in sales.

“Whether it’s to find the perfect gift, take the kids to see Santa,
support a charitable activity, get the ingredients needed for the
holiday cookies, or simply enjoy a meal with friends and family shopping
centers are truly the hub of the holiday shopping season,” asserted ICSC
President and CEO, Thomas McGee.

While mobile technology has greatly changed the way consumers shop, what
has remained constant is the fact that consumer do the vast majority of
their shopping at shopping centers with 83 percent of U.S. consumers
visiting a shopping center at least once a week, including 92 percent of
the most tech-savvy consumers, 18-24 year olds. Overall, the young
consumers visit shopping centers on average 10.8 times a week.

“Although it may seem counter-intuitive that the most wired consumer,
Millennials between the ages of 18-24, spend the most time at shopping
centers, today’s shopping centers are more than places to simply buy
goods and services as they have incorporated a multitude of dining and
entertainment venues into their tenant mix. Combined with the fact that
shopping is no longer a choice between clicks and bricks but rather an
omni-channel journey that often leads to fulfillment at a physical
store, it is not surprising that consumers visit shopping centers so
often,” explained Mr. McGee.

An earlier
conducted by ICSC over the Black Friday weekend substantiates
the importance of the physical store to the omni-channel shopping
experience. The survey found that 40 percent of Thanksgiving Day
shoppers made a purchase online from a retailer with a physical presence
and picked up that item in store. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of Black
Friday shoppers did the same, which gives a combined 34 percent for both
days. More importantly, about 6 in 10 shoppers bought more items once on
the premises.

One of the reasons for the high in-store conversion rates could be
shoppers’ online research prior to their visits with slightly more than
two-thirds (68 percent) of these shoppers who purchased in store
researched online before visiting the location. Technology has altered
in-store behavior as well. On Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, about
62 percent of shoppers used their smartphones or tablets while in stores
for shopping-related purposes. Usage is identical by gender and about
the same by income group but varies widely by age. This use ranges from
78 percent among 18-24 year-olds to 32 percent for those 65 and older.

The top reasons these shoppers gave for in-store mobile use were to:

  • Compare prices (33 percent)
  • Check availability (23 percent)
  • Get digital coupons (21 percent)
  • View ratings (18 percent)
  • Email or text friends and family for opinion (18 percent)
  • Buy items online while in-store (18 percent)

These figures demonstrate that the use of smartphones and tablets is
already well integrated into consumer behavior and the overall shopping
center experience. Mobile technology users employed their devices not
just for comparison and research purposes, but also for affirmation of
their buying inclinations. An astounding 93 percent of those shoppers
who used their mobile device in store made purchases. “Overall what our
research confirms is that today’s tech-savvy consumer is more
knowledgeable than ever about the goods and services they desire. Armed
with this information, consumers’ holiday shopping journeys are
productive and efficient with the shopping center positioned at the
heart of their total experience,” Mr. McGee noted.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping
center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries
include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors,
retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center
industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are
a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source
for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and
the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal
services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and
infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren’t only
fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their
communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and
family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage
philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org
and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.


Noelle Malone, +1 646-728-3540