The ICSC released its data on the 2022 holiday shopping season that showed a 5.2 percent year-over-year gain, driven by 89 percent (230 million) of U.S. consumers purchasing gifts.
And while inflation impacted spending, more consumers flocked to physical stores during the season — lured in by deals from retailers and brands.
Tom McGee, president and chief executive officer of the ICSC, said despite economic uncertainty, “consumers continued to spend” and added that, “It’s clear that persistent inflation and economic concerns are shaping shopper behaviors, but there are signs of resilience across the marketplaces industry. Consumers continued to embrace in-store shopping and took advantage of deals and promotions throughout the season. The holiday season will be an important springboard for retailers as we head into 2023.”
In its report, the ICSC said shoppers spent $574 on gifts in the 2022 season, with 74 percent of holiday consumers visiting a shopping center, which is an increase from 70 percent in 2021. “This year, 39 percent of total spending was in physical stores, a notable uptick from 34 percent in 2021 and 33 percent in 2020,” the ICSC said. “Prices, product availability and convenience shaped consumer behaviors in 2022; 43 percent noted that low prices or good promotions were key motivating factors in where they shopped, significantly ahead of 33 percent in 2021.”
Regarding the impact of inflation, the ICSC said 53 percent of shoppers reported spending “significantly more time this year looking for deals and promotions than in the past,” with 38 percent of those polled citing higher prices as the cause. The survey also found 64 percent of respondents preferred retailers’ efforts “to offer promotions throughout the season as opposed to limiting them to traditional ‘deal days’ like Black Friday.”
“Further, higher prices were the number-one challenge consumers faced this shopping season (40 percent), ahead of crowded stores (33 percent) and products being unavailable (30 percent),” the ICSC said.