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In-store shopping will take precedence this holiday season

The trend: More US consumers plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping in-store this year. Almost two-thirds (63%) plan to shop in person this year, up from last year’s 58%, per JLL’s Retail Holiday Survey 2022.

  • A separate survey by NPD found that the balance of spending is also shifting in favor of brick-and-mortar: The proportion of consumers planning to shop online this holiday season fell to 80%, compared with last year’s 85%.

The return of brick-and-mortar: Brick-and-mortar has made a strong comeback over the last year as COVID-19 worries fade and shoppers revert to pre-pandemic habits. As inflation causes more consumers to be pickier about where and how they spend, it’s no surprise that many are opting to shop in-person to inspect items firsthand and avoid potentially costly shipping and returns fees.

  • Most shoppers—54.5%—said their primary reason for venturing to stores was to see and handle products before purchasing, per JLL.
  • Roughly one-third (32.7%) are shopping in-store to avoid shipping costs and delays.
  • JLL’s survey also found that affluent shoppers are more likely to shop online—but also more likely to cite a store’s holiday ambiance as a reason for visiting in-person.
  • Overall, 71% of consumers said they shop in brick-and-mortar stores as often as or more than before the pandemic, per a Mood Media survey.

The big takeaway: While brick-and-mortar remains as important a channel as ever, retailers shouldn’t discount ecommerce’s importance. We expect ecommerce sales growth to outpace brick-and-mortar this holiday season as shoppers take advantage of extended Black Friday sales and other discounts across a longer shopping period.

Go further: Check out our US Holiday Shopping forecast for more insights.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.