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Brick-And-Mortar Stills Own Holiday Shopping

Online and mobile shopping are growing, but brick-and-mortar stores are still where the majority of U.S. consumers will buy most holiday gifts this year, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday (Dec. 18).

While 93 percent of consumers plan to do some online shopping this holiday season, 54 percent will primarily purchase gifts from stores, according to a survey by supply-chain management vendor Manhattan Associates and IDG Research Services. In addition, more than three-quarters of online shoppers will take advantage of pick-up-in-store options, meaning they’ll still be relying on physical retailers and generating more foot traffic for stores.

Same-store sales topped estimates in November, according to Retail Metrics, and the National Retail Federation projects that holiday sales will rise 4.1 percent in November and December, the biggest increase since 2011.

According to the survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, 77 percent of shoppers are ordering goods on the Web and then picking them up in stores, while 78 percent of online shoppers prefer to return items to nearby stores, which could drive further traffic to brick-and-mortar chains.

But the have-it-now advantage of physical stores is being limited by faster delivery by Amazon and other ecommerce players, as well as the tempered expectations of online customers. Almost 90 percent of Web customers surveyed expect their online purchases to arrive in two to seven days without an extra charge.

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