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Top five holiday retailers

JLL’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Survey has familiar names at the top.

BY Marianne Wilson

Holiday shoppers are fairly consistent when it comes to their favorite stores.

Amazon (38.1%), Walmart (36.2%) Target (29.6% ) ranked as the top three stores where consumers across all income groups plan to do their holiday shopping, followed by Kohl’s (10.1%) and Macy’s (8.0%), according to JLL’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Survey. While the top three remained the same across all shoppers, there were some differences in the rankings when looking at consumers’ holiday budgets.

Those with higher budgets (greater than $500) were more likely to include retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy and Nordstrom among their top 10. Those with more modest budgets indicated that they plan to shop at Kohl’s.

The survey also revealed that consumers plan to use multiple channels this holiday season. More than half of the shoppers surveyed (52%) indicated that they will buy in-store.

A little over a quarter of shoppers (25.3%) will make a purchase from a physical retailer’s website while 23.5% plan to order online and pick up in store. This option was particularly popular among Gen Z shoppers as 29.9% said they would take advantage of BOPIS services.(Previous studies have shown that approximately 85% of shoppers who stop by a store to pick up a purchase end up buying other products.)

“This year we are continuing to see the merging of retail channels with 68.7% of responses showing that consumers will shop at a retailer with a physical presence – whether that’s in-store, online, or picking up in-store after an online purchase,” said Greg Maloney, president and CEO of JLL Retail.

According to the survey, holiday sales will increase 4.5% to 5%.  Maloney said he believes that sales will likely to be on the high-end of the JLL forecast – baring a substantial setback in the economy. He also downplayed the impact of trade concerns on the consumer.

“By in large, the average consumer is not going to be overly concerned by trade discussions until they actually manifest in higher prices or slower economic growth,” he said. “The consumer has continuously buoyed the economy and I don’t expect that to change without some sort of significant setback.”

In other survey highlights:

  • About one-third of consumers say that they will start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving this year – with some indicating they’re already done with their holiday shopping.
  • A higher number of shoppers plan to start their shopping on Thanksgiving Day this year – 5.1% versus 3.4% in 2018.
  • Fewer shoppers will use their phones for online ordering compared to last year (46.8% vs. 50.3%), But more shoppers indicated they will use their phones for reading product reviews, checking store inventory, and making in-store payments. While men are more likely to use their phones overall, 14.2% of women preferred to use their phone to pay in-store. Among the age demographics, 16.5% of millennial shoppers planned to use their phone to make mobile payments.
  • Overall, consumer budgets remained roughly the same compared to last year with 43.3% of consumers indicating that they will spend over $500 on gifts this year – compared to 44.4% in 2018.
  • Seniors over the age of 65 planned to spend the most out of the surveyed demographics with 23% budgeting more than $1,000 on gifts. Gen Zers, on the other hand, budgeted the least with 72.3% indicating they planned to spend less than $500.
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