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Brick and Mortar Still Stands Strong

New shopping study shows in-store purchases big for holiday season.


By: Melissa Meisel

Brick and Mortar Still Stands Strong

Physical stores drove sales with 91 percent of consumers choosing brick and mortar retailers this season, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)'s Holiday Consumer Purchasing Trends study. The strength in brick and mortar is largely due to the technological advancements on the part of retailers and the savviness of consumers.

Consumers continued to show resiliency this season, as 40% of shoppers say they spent more this season than in 2014, with 33% spending the same this season. Only 23% said they spent less than last year. 198 million American adults made holiday purchases at a physical store this holiday season (Nov. 1 – Dec. 25). Seeing, touching, and trying on merchandise was cited the number one reason to shop in store (32%), followed by the ability to browse (26%), and the ability to get the item right away (24%). Shoppers also embrace the ease of returning and exchanging products in store, with 20% of shoppers electing to shop in-store because of this advantage.
“Looking back at the holiday season, the major trend that emerged is the prevalence of the omni-channel consumer and the resulting convergence among brick and mortar and digital retail,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “The story of bricks vs. clicks is an old one. The story is now one of a shopper getting the best of both worlds, using online research and capabilities to inform physical purchases. The American consumer has sent a clear message that the physical store remains at the epicenter of the shopping experience.”

The 2015 ICSC Holiday Consumer Purchasing Trends Study was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from Dec. 28-30, 2015. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,014 adults 18 years of age and older.

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