Consumers expect to spend a total of $130B during the upcoming holiday shopping weekend, a 4 percent increase from last year’s spending expectations, according to the new ICSC Thanksgiving Weekend Intentions survey. Ninety percent of consumers plan to shop in the period beginning on Thanksgiving Day and ending on Cyber Monday, with two in five expecting to spend more on goods than last year.
While consumers anticipate inflation and rising prices to impact their holiday shopping, they remain resilient in their spending and plan to adjust their shopping behaviors during Thanksgiving weekend to account for the current economic climate. Seven-in-10 shoppers plan to use promotions to stock up on everyday essentials. Additionally, 71 percent plan to research prices of items they want to buy in advance to ensure they’re getting the best deals. Nearly 50 percent also expect to rely on social media and apps more than they have in previous years to find the best discounts.
“Shoppers continue to remain optimistic about the upcoming holiday shopping weekend despite inflation,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “While they expect to encounter higher prices this holiday season, they’re turning to smart and savvy shopping techniques to make sure they’re getting the best deals on the things they buy to maximize what they have to spend. We anticipate increased consumer spending and a strong shopping season for retailers during Thanksgiving weekend.”
Ninety percent of shoppers plan to visit a store to buy an item or pick up an online purchase, while 84 percent plan to spend online. Among physical stores, eight-in-10 shoppers plan to visit a retail marketplace during Thanksgiving weekend. Most expect to shop (60 percent) and dine (47 percent), but this year, more consumers also plan to attend holiday-themed events, increasing from 21 percent of shoppers in 2022 to 29 percent this year. In terms of how consumers plan to pay, debit cards (65 percent) remain the top payment method during this holiday shopping weekend, followed by credit cards (49 percent) and cash (45 percent). Only 13 percent of shoppers plan to use buy now, pay later for purchases.
While 64 percent of consumers say price and value are a key factor when choosing where to shop during Thanksgiving weekend, convenience is also important. Three-in-five shoppers say they will shop in stores or use click-and-collect more to avoid shipping delays. In fact, 56 percent plan to shop online and pick up in store, an increase from 48 percent in 2022.
“Deals and promotions are top-of-mind for consumers this holiday shopping weekend, but retailers can’t forget that offering a positive customer experience is also vital,” noted McGee. “In deciding where to shop, additional key factors for consumers beyond pricing and promotions include in-stock products, quick pickup and shipping options, and easy returns or exchanges. Ensuring that shoppers have an enjoyable and convenient experience in stores and online while shopping during the holidays can help build trust through the holiday season and beyond.”
Retailers can expect most of the shopping during Thanksgiving weekend to occur on Black Friday, with 80 percent of consumers planning to shop on this day, and Cyber Monday, with 81 percent planning to shop on this day.