Trade Winds

Survey says holiday season will be short but sweet

With only 26 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holiday season for retailers is the shortest possible this year.

But store owners shouldn’t fret, since it’s expected that holiday spending will increase, despite the narrow window for sales.

That’s according to a survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers, which predicts a nearly 5 percent increase in holiday spending over last year. The ICSC survey points to total spending of more than $832 billion this holiday season, with the average adult spending $683 on holiday gifts and related items.

And though online shopping rises every year, the survey found 90 percent of holiday shoppers will make their purchases at a physical retail location. However, the survey also found that 87 percent of shoppers plan to research online before going to stores, and 82 percent of shoppers who have a mobile device will use it in-store to compare prices, get digital coupons and check inventory.

Topping the list of items shoppers will purchase this year are gift cards (63 percent), apparel/footwear/accessories (55 percent), toys/games (48 percent) and food/alcohol (43 percent). Holiday shoppers planning to buy electronics plan to spend most on video games/consoles (53 percent) and smartphones/accessories (50 percent). For children, the expectation is that 92 percent will ask for toys this year and for teens, gift cards are the gift of choice (61 percent).

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Trade Winds

Trade Winds is written by journalists from the Long Island business community.