ICSC Report: Shopping Centers Remain Key Holiday Destination

Shopping mall
Holiday shopping.
REX Shutterstock.

Today, the International Council of Shopping Centers issued predictions  for the holiday selling season, declaring that shopping malls are still alive and kicking despite many reports that online shopping sites are eating brick-and-mortar’s lunch.

While such assertions are to be expected from the ICSC — after all, it’s the global trade association for the shopping-center industry — here are some of the stats the organization threw out to prove its case, based on a recent consumer survey.

From now til Christmas Day, consumers will:

  • visit a shopping center 6.5 times a week, on average
  • spend an average of $147 a week

The group also stated that about 83 percent of U.S. consumers visit a shopping center at least once a week, and that the percentage is even higher (92 percent) among 18- to 24-year-olds, who are considered the biggest target audience for e-commerce. ICSC estimates that young consumers visit shopping centers an average of 10.8 times a week.

“Although it may seem counterintuitive that the most wired consumers … 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,” said ICSC President and CEO Thomas McGee. “Combined with the fact that shopping is no longer a choice between clicks and bricks but rather an omnichannel journey … it is not surprising that consumers visit shopping centers so often.”

Several organizations, such as the National Retail Federation, have recently noted that the line between online and in-store is blurring as consumers learn to utilize all the tools at their disposal.

The ICSC, for instance, found in a study of Thanksgiving and Black Friday shoppers that 34 percent bought an item online and then picked it up in store, and 68 percent did research online before making a purchase at a brick-and-mortar location.

“What our research confirms is that today’s tech-savvy consumer is more knowledgeable than ever about the goods and services they desire,” said McGee.