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ICSC Predicts Growth this Holiday Season

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) released its annual holiday forecast on Tuesday, predicting 3.3% year-over-year growth in retail sales this upcoming holiday season.

This new prediction shows a rise compared to last year’s 2.2% increase. According to the company’s Intentions Survey, consumers plan to spend around $683.90 this season, with 91 percent of shoppers making in-store purchases. Fifty-two percent of consumers stated the ability to see, touch or try merchandise as a reason for making in-store purchases.

“We continue to see positive consumer spending intentions ahead of the holiday season, with an emphasis on shopping in physical stores,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. “Throughout 2016, consumers have demonstrated a tendency to shop across both digital and physical retail. Even shoppers who purchase online favor retailers with a physical presence and an increasing number of consumers are buying online and collecting in stores.”

With this prediction comes the expectation by consumers of an omnichannel experience this holiday shopping season, with 96 percent of shoppers saying they’ll spend money in-store or online through a retailer with a physical presence.

Eighty-five percent of holiday shoppers said they plant to make informed decisions by researching online prior to making in-store purchases, while 39 percent of consumers plan to use the click-and-collect method, showing a rise from last year’s 32 percent. Shoppers will also continue to utilize online shopping for the season, with 83 percent making an additional purchase in-store when picking up their online order.

“Consumer intentions show that this digital/physical convergence will be critical for the health of the industry as we close out the year,” said McGee.