Don't bet against the mall stores this Black Friday.
For all the talk about Cyber-Monday's growing importance on the retail calendar, a 2016 Black Friday survey demonstrates why the day after Thanksgiving is still the dominant day for shoppers and the stores servicing their holiday needs
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers' (ICSC) Black Friday forecast, over 150 million Americans will be heading to malls and shopping centers this Thanksgiving weekend. The average Thanksgiving weekend shopper will spend $413.50 and 81% of holiday shoppers plan to spend at a physical store.
Tom McGee, CEO of the ICSC, said this total increases to 95% when you include consumers who will shop at physical retailers' online channels.
"Black Friday is significant and remains the true kick off to the holiday season. It's about more than deals. It's a ritual. Most Americans have the day off and have annual traditions that take place in a shopping center," said McGee.
And while Americans will be heading to the stores to shop in person on the holiday weekend, they won't be leaving technology behind. The survey showed that they often research and price compare online, sometimes in a store on their smart phone, then complete the purchase in-store. The data showed 94% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers plan to research online before making in-store purchases and 89% will use a mobile device in store.
"The rising technology trend among shoppers is 'click and collect' purchasing items online and picking them up stores," said McGee, adding that 37% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers intend to utilize technology to buy items online and pick them up in store.
ICSC forecast more than 700,000 holiday jobs this holiday season, across all categories of retail.
The ICSC survey also showed that many malls are featuring experiential attractions this season to attract customers. For Thanksgiving shoppers, a whopping 84% intend to spend on dining, further demonstrating the role experience plays in driving shoppers into physical stores.
Nevertheless, it's those blockbuster deals that remain the big attraction. 84% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers are influenced by holiday weekend promotions, according to the ICSC survey, while 61% shop in stores to take advantage of the promotions being offered.
And what are shoppers planning to spend their hard-earned money on over Thanksgiving weekend?
Electronics (79%), apparel and footwear (77%), toys and games (72%) and home goods/houseware (70%) are atop most shopping lists. Also popular, gift cards (69%), cosmetics/fragrances (55%) and jewelry (43%).