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Thanksgiving Weekend is a Positive Sign of the Holiday Season to Come

After four days out of the office, we are back doing what we do best at the Food Institute offices: keeping an eye on the food industry. Although today is Cyber Monday, we are starting to get a look at that other Thanksgiving holiday: Black Friday.

Consumers spent an average of $78.70 per person on food, dining and entertainment over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Those who visited malls over the weekend spent $96.20 on dining and other experiences, on top of the more than $275 spent on holiday gifts and non-gift related items.

“As malls and shopping centers evolve, the ways in which the consumer experiences shopping continues to change as well,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “What we are seeing over the course of the year, and more so during the holiday season, is consumers’ desire to take advantage of everything a mall has to offer whether that is dining, shopping or entertainment.”

Regarding all types of purchases, ICSC found that:

  • 87% of Thanksgiving/ Black Friday shoppers took advantage of in-store and online purchasing.
  • 75% of all spending was captured by retailers with a physical presence.
  • 74% of Thanksgiving/Black Friday shoppers spent the same or more than in 2016.
  • 69% of those purchasing online and picking up in-store (click & collect) made an additional in store purchase.

“Thanksgiving Weekend is a great indicator for what will be a holiday season full of spending, as we are seeing a very positive consumer sentiment and willingness to spend,” said McGee. “Shopping centers across the country should feel very optimistic about the season ahead. While the shopping season is longer this year, it’s not coming at the expense of the most popular shopping day of the year.”

However, retailers must consider the possibility of cybercrime during the holiday season, too. Merchants can expect a 30% increase in omnichannel fraudulent activity during the 2017 holiday season when compared to 2016, according to ACI Worldwide. Identity theft, account takeovers and friendly fraud will be among the biggest challenges this season, while the average fraud target value will rise to $215, reported Chain Store Age (Nov. 22).