New York — Consumer spending during this past winter holiday season was up 16 percent compared with the year prior, with the average shopper outlaying $711 on gifts and holiday-related purchases, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
“Consumer confidence continued to improve into December and we saw this optimism reflected in the holiday spending numbers,” says Tom McGee, ICSC president and CEO. “The strong holiday shopping season suggests a positive environment for retail sales overall.”
Slight more than half of all holiday consumers waited until the days leading up to Christmas to compete shopping, according to the trade group. Further, nearly 70 percent of total seasonal spending occurred at retailers with both a physical and online presence, while 91 percent of consumers visited a brick-and-mortar retailer.
Of those who bought online and picked up in store, 61 percent made additional purchases in-person, ICSC reports.
“The convergence of physical and digital continues to be important as consumers have come to expect an integrated experience allowing them to buy products through a variety of channels,” McGee says. “The survey data prove that omnichannel retailers are the real winners this season as they offer purchasing options that satisfy the shopping behaviors of all generations.”