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American shoppers brace for big Thanksgiving spending spree

The 2015 International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Black Friday Shopping Study shows more than 7 in 10 Americans (71 percent) are planning to make holiday purchases over the Thanksgiving holiday period.

Black Friday. Photo by Powhusku/ Flickr
Black Friday. Photo by Powhusku/ Flickr

Furthermore, 59 percent plan to make a purchase at a physical store over the weekend (Thursday-Sunday).

Surprisingly, Cyber Monday is shaping up to be the second-most popular day for in-store shopping — even though it’s a day normally associated with online activity.

Overall, Americans plan to shop in-store on Thanksgiving Day (15 percent); Black Friday (41 percent); The Saturday and/or Sunday after Thanksgiving (30 percent); Cyber Monday (32 percent).

“Shoppers’ in-store plans for Cyber Monday shows the lines between the online and in-store retail experiences are continuing to blur,” said Jesse Tron, ICSC Spokesman.

“In-store shopping remains the preeminent channel for transactions, but online retail is continuing to influence those transactions by offering added value to shoppers in the form of research, in-store pickup, and more.”

Consumers planning to make a purchase over Thanksgiving weekend (Thursday-Sunday) will spend an average of $259 at retailers that have a physical presence.

This represents 73 percent of Thanksgiving Weekend spending – including 14 percent for online purchases that will be picked up in store. This is significant as four out of five shoppers say they are likely to buy additional items when they go to retrieve their item.

Of all Thanksgiving weekend spending 60 percent will be spent on holiday gifts for others; 29 percent on non-gift items for themselves and their household; and 11 percent on non-gift items for people not in their house.

As stores make headlines over their decisions to open their doors (or not) on Thanksgiving, shoppers are planning to take advantage of the extended hours.

Of those who do plan to go to a shopping center on Thanksgiving Day, they will do so to: Shop (68 percent); Dine (41 percent); See a movie (29 percent); Have a child’s picture taken with Santa (15 percent); Attend a holiday-themed-event like a Christmas tree or menorah lighting ceremony (15 percent).

Those who plan to shop on the Thanksgiving holiday say they plan to do so because: Want to get a head start on finding the bargains offered (50 percent); A fun opportunity to go shopping with family/friends (43 percent); An opportunity to shop at more stores during the extended weekend (33 percent); Expect the crowds to be smaller than on black Friday (28 percent). Technology will continue to support the growing trend of omni-channel shopping for Thanksgiving weekend consumers, as more than eight in 10 (82 percent) will do research online before making purchases in-store.

Additionally, 80 percent of shoppers plan to use a mobile device when shopping, most popularly to: Compare prices (56 percent); View ratings or reviews (37 percent); Check availability/inventory (36 percent); Get digital discounts or coupons to use in-store (36 percent); Take pictures of items they’re thinking about purchasing (27 percent).

Holiday shoppers will make the following distribution of their purchases in-store for the following categories: Food and drink intended for holiday entertaining or gifts (84%); Gift cards (69 percent)

Apparel and footwear (63 percent); Home goods/housewares (60 percent); Toys and games, not including apps or video games (55 percent).This holiday, 66 percent of Americans will join in the scramble for the hottest toys and games of the season.

The most popular ones cited include: LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack; Paw Patrol – Paw Patroller; Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage; Star Wars Bladebuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber; Mattel Barbie Dream House; Marvel Hulk Smash Vehicle; Doc McStuffins Take Care of Me Lambie.

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