Consumers head back to stores this holiday season

The early results are in: Foot traffic saw increases week over week between September 19 and October 16, suggesting the holiday season may have kicked off earlier in-store, per

  • Department stores, shopping centers, and specialty clothing stores are benefiting most from early holiday shoppers.
  • Electronics stores haven’t seen a huge jump in foot traffic, indicating consumers may be waiting for Black Friday deals to shop. Similarly, superstores haven’t seen a huge jump in early shopping traffic.
  • When comparing mid-October to early October sales numbers, non-gifting categories like apparel have seen the largest sales growth.
  • However, jewelry also saw significant growth, signaling that some consumers have begun gift shopping.

The forecast: We predict that in-store retail holiday sales will total $1.058 trillion this year, making up the lion’s share (81.6%) of holiday sales.

  • However, growth is slowing, down from 16.5% last year to just 5.9% this year.
  • Black Friday will be the most popular of the Cyber Five for in-store shopping, with 39.7% of consumers planning to shop in-person that day, according to a JLL survey.
  • The final two weeks of the season will also see strong brick-and-mortar sales as last-minute shoppers wrap up their lists.
  • According to Deloitte, US consumers will spend over a third (35%) of their holiday budget in-store.

Who’s shopping in-store? Almost two-thirds (63%) of US consumers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping in-store this year, up from 58% last year, per JLL.

  • 18- to 24-year-olds are the most likely to do holiday shopping at the mall, with 63% reporting they are very or somewhat likely to engage in the behavior, per CivicScience.
  • Also more likely to shop at the mall: consumers who are in a financially secure situation post-pandemic.

Try it before you buy it: According to JLL, 54.5% of consumers say being able to touch and see products before buying is the thing they enjoy most about in-store shopping.

  • Higher-earning consumers (those making $100,000–$200,000 per year) are more likely to enjoy the holiday ambiance, shopping with others, and getting expert sales advice.
  • Still, you can’t make everyone happy. Nearly one-third (31%) of consumers said they don’t like anything about holiday shopping in stores, per CivicScience.



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