Black Friday and Cyber Monday get a lot of hype for kicking off the holiday shopping season, but plenty of consumers keep on spending well into December. In fact, this procrastinating crowd of last-minute shoppers is proving to be worth a pretty penny to in-store retailers in 2015.
According to a recent report from the International Council of Shopping Centers, rumors of the demise of in-store merchants has been greatly exaggerated, as the average consumer will visit a shopping center at least 6.5 times a week from now until Christmas Day. Instead of window shopping, these customers are opening their wallets to the tune of $147 per shopper week — for a grand total of $30 billion from Sunday to Sunday and 600 million shopper visits overall.
Thomas McGee, president and CEO of the ICSC, also explained that millennial shoppers are turning into a key demographic of in-store holiday shoppers as the calendar turns closer and closer to Christmas morning. In fact, the ICSC found that 92 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds will visit a shopping center at least once a week, but the average millennial consumer will make 10.8 trips per week in the period leading up to Christmas.
“Although it may seem counterintuitive that the most wired consumer, millennials between the ages of 18-24, spend the most time at shopping centers, today’s shopping centers are more than places to simply buy goods and services as they have incorporated a multitude of dining and entertainment venues into their tenant mix,” McGee explained in a statement. “Combined with the fact that shopping is no longer a choice between clicks and bricks but rather an omnichannel journey that often leads to fulfillment at a physical store, it is not surprising that consumers visit shopping centers so often.”
While a few good weeks of in-store traffic around the holidays aren’t going to be enough to fend off the ever-encroaching online retailers during the rest of the year, brick-and-mortar merchants have to be encouraged by the fact that a pivot toward experiential retail seems to be succeeding in drawing crowds away from their computers.