The holidays and retail go hand in hand! The retail industry is very much alive and well and as we enter this holiday season expect consumers to continue to spend discretionary income at very strong levels. The average consumer is expected to spend approx. $683 on holiday related items, an increase of 4.9% over last year according to ICSC. Brick and Mortar remains crucial to the success of the holiday shopping season, with approx. 90% of US adults planning to shop in-store for gifts and other related goods.

With the economy in such a healthy state, unemployment at 3.6% and the addition of 128,000 jobs in October, consumer confidence remains high with current business conditions strong and a positive outlook over the next 6 months. Consumers are optimistic about the upcoming holiday season and are continuing to favor physical stores when shopping for gifts. The retailers that have integrated omnichannel strategies will continue to prove to be the winners this year as consumers expect experience and convenience. 60% of holiday shoppers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend (73% for Millennials). 87% of shoppers plan to research online before going to stores. Holiday shopping has already begun as many get a head start on making a list and checking it twice! If you can, support small businesses and shop local. They are our neighbors and the life blood of our communities.