2019 Retail Holiday Sales Set to Be Merry
Cash registers will be jingling this holiday season, as consumers indicate they plan to open their wallets and head to stores. With key economic fundamentals remaining strong, JLL predicts a 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent increase in retail holiday sales. Here are three major findings from JLL’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Survey.
Stores Will Be a Top Destination for Shoppers
Omnichannel is now the new normal and consumers plan to use multiple channels to get their holiday shopping done this year. JLL’s holiday survey found that the majority of shoppers (68.7 percent) will buy from a retailer with a physical store, whether they shop online, in-store, or buy online and pick up in-store (BOPIS).
More than half of consumers (51.9 percent) will head directly to stores to shop. This is particularly true of lower-income consumers (earning under $25,000), only 27.5 percent of whom will buy from a pure-play internet retailer. High-income shoppers (earning over $100,000) are significantly more likely to head online to shop, whether from a pure-play online store or from a retailer with physical locations. Almost one-quarter of shoppers (23.5 percent) will order online before picking up in stores. This is a boon for retailers since most BOPIS customers purchase additional items once they get in-store. BOPIS is particularly popular with Gen Z consumers (ages 18-24), with almost 30 percent planning to shop through that channel.
Mass merchandisers were by far the top destination for consumers, with 66.7 percent planning to do some of their holiday shopping at these locations. Less than half (42.7 percent) of shoppers listed an online retailer among their top picks, while department stores were the third most popular choice, with 32.2 percent of consumer votes.
Consumers Will Use Their Phones to Help Them Shop In-Store
As consumers continue to integrate technology into every aspect of their lives, they've become much more comfortable using their phones to shop. This year saw a decline in consumers using their phones to buy online, decreasing from 50.3 percent to 46.8 percent of shoppers. Instead, more shoppers are using their phones to amplify their in-store shopping experience by checking store inventory, reading product reviews and making payments.
Self-Gifting Plans Bode Well for Retail Holiday Performance
Consumers are putting themselves on their gift lists this year, as more than half of shoppers (53.2 percent) plan to buy something for themselves, likely taking advantage of Black Friday deals. While the largest segment of self-gifting shoppers will buy clothes and shoes (20.4 percent), some will buy electronics (11.5 percent) and home furnishings (8.3 percent). More big spenders (with budgets over $500) will self-gift this year, with 73.5 percent of respondents planning to treat themselves. These shoppers are also going for more big-ticket items than the average shopper — twice as many big spenders will buy accessories like luggage and jewelry, and almost three times as many will splurge on appliances.
Consumers’ willingness to spend on themselves is a very good indication that holiday sales will be hale and hearty this year; shoppers on tight budgets don’t typically splurge on themselves. In summary, this holiday season is expected to be a happy one for retailers, particularly big-box stores where shoppers can check off multiple items on their lists at one location.
Keisha Virtue is a senior research analyst at JLL, covering U.S. retail research. Keisha works on a team that creates industry-leading research and thought leadership for both owners and occupiers of retail developments.
Keisha Virtue is a Senior Research Analyst at JLL, a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management.
At JLL, Keisha covers U.S. Retail Research. She works on a team that creates industry-leading research and thought leadership for both owners and occupiers of retail developments. The U.S. Retail Research team has published reports on urban retail markets, grocery store trends, the importance of brick and mortar to brands, and department store closures and solutions for vacant space.
Prior to working at JLL, Keisha graduated from the Keller Graduate School of Management with an MBA in Marketing & International Business.