ICSC Predicts Robust Holiday Retail Spending

Consumer spending to hit $807 billion this season, representing a 4.5
percent growth over prior year

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#ICSC–Consumers are hitting the stores again this holiday season, sustaining
the ongoing “retail renaissance” and the convergence of digital and
physical, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has found
in its annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey. ICSC forecasts that
shoppers will spend $807 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent over last
year, with $685 billion being spent on gifts and other holiday items and
$122 billion on food and beverage.

Malls and shopping centers will, once again, be bustling with consumers
this holiday season. According to ICSC, 84 percent of shoppers will
visit a mall or shopping center throughout the holidays, but the
retailers who embrace omnichannel will benefit the greatest. Of the 40
percent of consumers who will use click-and-collect, 82 percent expect
to spend additional money at that store or tenant, further bolstering
retail sales.

“Our annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey findings demonstrate that
consumers remain confident in the economy,” said Tom McGee, President
and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “Shoppers want
a combination of convenience and experience, and the retailers with the
best omnichannel strategy are poised for success this holiday season.”

As the economy roars into the fourth quarter, consumer confidence has
reached its highest
level since October 2000
, positioning shoppers to spend big this
holiday season. According to the survey, the average consumer plans to
spend $706.40 this holiday season, with $522.00 allotted for gifts.
Overall, 92 percent of U.S. consumers plan to purchase holiday gifts and
other holiday items this year. Over half (54 percent) plan to spend more
this year than last year, with more than one quarter (28 percent)
pointing to a change in job status or income as a factor in their
increased spend.

Approximately one in four are planning to buy big-ticket items like
household appliances or jewelry; 40 percent are expected to buy
electronics; 64 percent of consumers plan to buy gift cards; 52 percent
plan to buy apparel and footwear; and 49 percent plan to buy toys and

“The holidays are a time of tradition and community that makes the mall
and the local shopping centers the perfect place to be during the
holidays,” said McGee. “Retailers are evolving their offerings and
presentation to tap into seasonal nostalgia, while still delivering an
innovative and convenient experience.”

Promotions will be one of the biggest influences in purchasing at a
physical location this year:

  • Overall, 74 percent of holiday shoppers say that promotions play a
    role in their holiday shopping.

    • 63 percent plan their holiday shopping around specific promotional
      events/dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday
      and/or other big sales.
    • 47 percent state that once they are in a store, the promotions
      they see influence the holiday purchases they make.
    • 20 percent state they are more influenced by promotions on social
      media compared with other mediums.


The ICSC Holiday Intention Forecast Survey was conducted online by
Engine Insights on behalf of ICSC from September 17 – 19, 2018. The
survey is a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,002 adults
18 years of age and older.

The ICSC Holiday Forecast figure was derived using an exponential
smoothing time series model based on not-seasonally adjusted monthly
retail sales less the automotive sectors and non-store vendors. The
forecast represents the combined November and December year-over-year
increase in nominal terms. The constituent retail categories were
calculated using the same technique.

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 www.icsc.org.


Shannon Troy


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