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Research + Studies

Most people heading to shopping centers over Thanksgiving weekend

Thanksgiving weekend remains a busy time at shopping centers, including malls: Most American adults — 62 percent — will visit a shopping center over the four-day weekend this year, up from 57 percent last year, according to the 2017 Pre-Black Friday Intentions Consumer Survey by ICSC Research. Proportionally, Millennials (ages 18-36) will be the most heavily represented age group: 77 percent of them say they will head to a shopping center this year, up from 72 percent last year. Three-fifths (60 percent) of GenX-ers (37-52) will do so, as will 56 percent of baby boomers (ages 53-71).

Retailers are continuing the recent practice of offering Black Friday-type deals weeks in advance of the traditional kickoff to the holiday season. More consumers believe that Pre-Black Friday/Black Friday promotions are better than Cyber Monday, the survey reveals. For instance, 45 percent of Millennials say the best promotions are to be had Pre-Black Friday/Black Friday; just 25 percent of them say the same about Cyber Monday. Interestingly, 45 percent of all adults either said that better deals are found at other times during the season or that they are not sure which of the two periods offers the most favorable prices.

“Black Friday remains the most popular day of the extended weekend for shopping, with 41 percent of adults — and 57 percent of Millennials — saying they’ll be hitting the stores then.”

Black Friday remains the most popular day of the extended weekend for shopping, with 41 percent of adults — and 57 percent of Millennials — saying they’ll be hitting the stores then. There is even a spillover effect in shopping at physical locations just beyond the weekend: Cyber Monday will draw 28 percent of shoppers of all age groups to stores, and 34 percent of Millennials.

The survey also reflected the continuing dominance of physical stores over pure-play Internet shopping in general. Over three-quarters (76.9 percent) of Thanksgiving weekend expenditures are expected to occur at omni-channel retailers, either in stores or online through these stores’ websites. Broken down, 50.1 percent will occur in store specifically and another 26.8 percent will happen through their websites.  Of the expenditures through stores’ websites, half will be spent on merchandise shipped to homes, while the other half will be allocated toward items picked up in stores. This latter behavior, also known as “click-and-collect,” is of particular interest to retailers and retail landlords, because of the 43 percent of shoppers who will do that, the vast majority (84 percent) of them say they’ll buy additional merchandise while picking up the items they bought online.

Of shopping center visitors over the Thanksgiving weekend, not surprisingly most (78 percent) said they plan to shop, while 55 percent said they will eat there; 36 percent intend to take in a movie; and 20 percent will have a child’s photo taken with Santa.

The full report is available here.

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT