Brick-and-mortar is both dead and still matters, depending on who you ask, but according to a new report from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), shopping malls will become increasingly important to consumers as Christmas Day creeps closer.
The survey, published Monday, said that people will stop by a shopping center seeking goods and services on average 6.5 times a week between now and Dec. 25, spending about $147 a week.
For retailers, that translates to $4.3 billion a day in sales, or $30 billion a week.
“Whether it’s to find the perfect gift, take the kids to see Santa, support a charitable activity, get the ingredients needed for the holiday cookies or simply enjoy a meal with friends and family, shopping centers are truly the hub of the holiday shopping season,” Thomas McGee, ICSC president and CEO, said in a press release.
Indeed, mobile devices may have changed the way consumers shop, but most still do the majority of their spending at physical stores. In fact, 83 percent of those surveyed by the ICSC said they visit a shopping center at least once a week, including 92 percent of 18 to 24 year olds. Somewhat surprisingly, young consumers visit stores on average 10.8 times a week.
“Although it may seem counter-intuitive that the most wired consumer—Millennials between the ages of 18 and 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, adding, “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.”
Another reason people call to brick-and-mortar locations: in-store pickups. An earlier survey conducted by ICSC over the Black Friday weekend found that 40 percent of Thanksgiving Day shoppers bought something online from a retailer with a physical presence and picked up that item in store. Thirty-two percent of Black Friday shoppers did the same. More importantly, about six in 10 spent even more once they were in-store, which ICSC put down to whatever research the customers had done online prior to their visits.
“Armed with this information, consumers’ holiday shopping journeys are productive and efficient with the shopping center positioned at the heart of their total experience,” McGee concluded.