Once the last trace of Halloween candy is gone, Americans plan to get started on holiday shopping. Nearly 30 percent of shoppers will start shopping prior to Thanksgiving, while just over 30 percent of shoppers will start stocking up over the five day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.
“As we head into the holiday season, consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in nearly 17 years. We expect that holiday spending will mirror overall retail sales trends, and anticipate that sales growth could reach as much as a six percent jump due to favorable economic conditions and the strength of the labor market,” added Greg Maloney, CEO of JLL Retail.
JLL’s 2017 Holiday Shopping Survey found key differences in buying patterns among generational cohorts and income levels, as well as between men and women.
Whether consumers plan to shop before or after Thanksgiving, they still plan to spend. The average budget for gifts this year is approximately $740, with another $150 budgeted for holiday décor. Naturally, there is a direct correlation between income level and annual holiday budget. High income shoppers plan to spend more than three times as much as lower income brackets. Surprisingly, Gen Xer’s have now surpassed Boomer’s as the biggest spenders, with an average of $800 budgeted for gifts this year.
Bricks outrank clicks as top shopping spots
There is something about shopping in physical stores during the holidays. Almost 40 percent of consumers surveyed will shop at more than six stores this holiday season. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers indicated they will shop at superstores this year, while only about 44 percent will shop online for holiday gifts. Other popular store choices were department/apparel or accessories stores (48%), electronic/toys or game stores (35%) and bath/beauty or cosmetic stores (31%).
“Consumers who plan to do the majority of their shopping online will still venture out to physical stores either to pick-up purchases ordered online, or buy high-end items they want to touch and test,” added James Cook, Director of Retail Research, JLL.
Men and women seek different shopping experiences
The majority of women surveyed plan to head to toy stores (54%) and department stores (53%) for gifts. They prioritize low prices above any other factor, while wide selection and convenient location tie for the second most important factor. These factors make them especially eager to turn to social media (62%) and retailer emails (62%) for shopping inspirations. On the flip side, the majority of men surveyed are stocking up on big ticket items at jewelry stores (75%) and electronic stores (62%). When choosing where to shop, men are more likely to prioritize customer service and product experts. Men surveyed tend to rely on word-of-mouth in deciding where and what they will buy this holiday season.
In order to get a more thorough insight into consumer plans and sentiments for the holidays, JLL conducted two separate online surveys. JLL surveyed 1,036 U.S. consumers online in September as well as 1,400 shoppers from 16 JLL-managed properties across the country between September and October.