The International Council of Shopping Centers predicts in a recent report that holiday spending will increase 4.9% over last year, totaling $832.3 billion. Overall, shoppers anticipate spending an average of $683, $496 of which will go toward gifts and $187 on other holiday-related purchases, per the report.
According to the report, 90% of holiday shoppers expect to make purchases in-store and 97% of them will buy goods online from retailers with physical stores. About 63% of holiday shoppers will begin buying before Thanksgiving, and 49% of shoppers plan to complete their holiday shopping within the last ten days before Christmas, the report found.
About 70% of baby boomers, 61% of Gen Xers and 59% of millennials plan on buying gift cards. Meanwhile, 55% of shoppers said they plan to purchase apparel and footwear, and 48% said they expected to buy games and toys, according to the report.
Mirroring the National Retail Federation's optimistic view of retail for the holidays, the latest report from ICSC could be a sign that consumers are expressing their positive outlook through increased spending.
That might not be the case for Gen Z shoppers. Though they're expected to shop in-store during the holidays, too, they're more skeptical about the health of the economy and in turn, are decreasing their spending.
Still, most research firms are predicting holiday spending growth over last year. Another report from AlixPartners anticipates holiday retail sales to increase between 4.4% and 5.3%.
ICSC's report also builds on previous research that shoppers start their product searches online, signaling that researching online and buying in store is the new normal. Nearly 90% of in-store shoppers plan to learn about products online before buying in-store and 82% will use their mobile device in brick-and-mortar stores, the ICSC report indicated.
"Our annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey once again shows that consumers are not only optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, but also continue to favor physical stores when shopping for gifts," ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee said in a statement. "Consumers expect convenience and experience when shopping, which means that those retailers with a good omnichannel strategy will likely see success this holiday season."