Physical Retail Expected to Fuel Strong Holiday Spending

ICSC forecasts total holiday spending to reach $832.3 billion, with 90% of shoppers spending in physical stores

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ICSC–ICSC forecasts a 4.9 percent increase in holiday spending over last year for a total of $832.3 billion, with the average adult spending $683 on holiday-related items. The annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey found that physical stores remain crucial to the success of the holiday shopping season, with 90 percent of US adults planning to shop in-store for gifts and other related goods.

An overwhelming 97 percent of holiday shoppers plan to shop with a retailer that has a physical presence and 82 percent of those consumers are likely to make an additional purchase in-store while picking up their online purchase.

“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,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “Consumers expect convenience and experience when shopping which means that those retailers with a good omnichannel strategy will likely see success this holiday season.”

The majority of holiday shopping will take place between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. In fact, 86 percent of shoppers plan to complete their shopping during that time period. Additionally, almost 60 percent of holiday shoppers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend with that number jumping to 73 percent for Millennial shoppers. Again, this year, promotions will drive in-store visits, with over 60 percent of shoppers saying that searching for deals encourages them to make more trips to physical stores.

Topping the list of items shoppers will purchase this year are gift cards (63 percent), apparel/footwear/accessories (55 percent), toys/games (48 percent) and food/alcohol (43 percent). Holiday shoppers planning to buy electronics plan to spend most on video games/consoles (53 percent) and smartphones/accessories (50 percent). For children ages 0-12, the expectation is that 92 percent will ask for toys this year, and for those ages 13-19 gift cards are the gift of choice (61 percent).

The survey also found that 87 percent of shoppers plan to research online before going to stores, and 82 percent of shoppers who have a mobile device will use it in-store to compare prices, get digital coupons and check inventory.


The ICSC Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey was conducted online by Engine Insights on behalf of ICSC September 16–18, 2019. The survey represents a demographically sample of 1,003 U.S. respondents.

About ICSC

ICSC serves the global retail real estate industry. We provide our 70,000+ member network in over 100 countries with invaluable resources, connections and industry insights, and actively work together to shape public policy. For more information about ICSC visit



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