Survey: Most Americans Will Increase Holiday Spending, While Keeping a Close Eye on Promotions

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust released the results of a Harris Interactive study conducted on its behalf in November 2013 among more than 2,000 U.S. adults examining holiday spending plans. This survey is the first in a series of periodic research reports examining the behavior and propensity of American consumers to shop at malls.

Survey results confirm the importance of brick-and-mortar retail, as an overwhelming 88 percent of adults said they like to be able to see and touch a product before making their purchase.  Fifty-four percent (54 percent) of American adults ages 18-34 expect to continue to enjoy the mall experience during the holidays. Of the adult population, 68 percent enjoy the mall because it gives them access to multiple stores at once.

"Survey findings confirm malls are a central, exciting destination for Americans during the holiday season," said Joe Coradino, CEO of PREIT. "We are dedicated to creating  exciting mall environments and the survey highlights that such unique and engaging retail experiences are a driving force for  our consumers."

Americans plan to increase holiday spending
Eight-five percent (85 percent) of Americans plan to increase or maintain their overall holiday gift spending on apparel, electronics, home goods and gift cards this year. Of those who plan to spend more, 15 percent plan to increase spending on electronics, 14 percent plan to purchase more gift cards, 13 percent will spend more on apparel and 10 percent will spend more on home goods.

In-store promotions & experiences are increasingly important
More than 175 million U.S. adults (75 percent) plan to pay greater attention to retailer coupons and discounts this year than last and 68 percent of adults indicated that exclusive in-store promotions motivate them to shop more at physical store locations.

Of those  who plan to spend less on apparel/electronics/home goods/gift cards this holiday season, 49 percent say they have less income this year than last. Forty-three percent want to go into less debt. Thirty-eight percent are concerned about higher retail prices and 12 percent are worried about job security.  Another 19 percent fear government uncertainty will harm the economy overall and 10 percent are worried the government might shut down again.

Forty-four percent of men ages 18-34 think mall owners should offer more exciting retail stores during the holidays, compared with 23 percent of the overall adult population. Survey findings indicate that ensuring an exciting retail environment is an increasingly important tool for attracting shoppers.
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