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Consumers head back to stores this holiday season

The early results are in: Foot traffic saw increases week over week between September 19 and October 16, suggesting the holiday season may have kicked off earlier in-store, per

  • Department stores, shopping centers, and specialty clothing stores are benefiting most from early holiday shoppers.
  • Electronics stores haven’t seen a huge jump in foot traffic, indicating consumers may be waiting for Black Friday deals to shop. Similarly, superstores haven’t seen a huge jump in early shopping traffic.
  • When comparing mid-October to early October sales numbers, non-gifting categories like apparel have seen the largest sales growth.
  • However, jewelry also saw significant growth, signaling that some consumers have begun gift shopping.

The forecast: We predict that in-store retail holiday sales will total $1.058 trillion this year, making up the lion’s share (81.6%) of holiday sales.

  • However, growth is slowing, down from 16.5% last year to just 5.9% this year.
  • Black Friday will be the most popular of the Cyber Five for in-store shopping, with 39.7% of consumers planning to shop in-person that day, according to a JLL survey.
  • The final two weeks of the season will also see strong brick-and-mortar sales as last-minute shoppers wrap up their lists.
  • According to Deloitte, US consumers will spend over a third (35%) of their holiday budget in-store.

Who’s shopping in-store? Almost two-thirds (63%) of US consumers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping in-store this year, up from 58% last year, per JLL.

  • 18- to 24-year-olds are the most likely to do holiday shopping at the mall, with 63% reporting they are very or somewhat likely to engage in the behavior, per CivicScience.
  • Also more likely to shop at the mall: consumers who are in a financially secure situation post-pandemic.

Try it before you buy it: According to JLL, 54.5% of consumers say being able to touch and see products before buying is the thing they enjoy most about in-store shopping.

  • Higher-earning consumers (those making $100,000–$200,000 per year) are more likely to enjoy the holiday ambiance, shopping with others, and getting expert sales advice.
  • Still, you can’t make everyone happy. Nearly one-third (31%) of consumers said they don’t like anything about holiday shopping in stores, per CivicScience.



This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.