Black Friday Boost: Strong Start for Holiday Retail

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Consumers had more than leftovers on their minds judging by the 145 million adults that visited malls and shopping centers in the U.S. during the long holiday weekend, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), which released its Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Report.

“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 Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “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.”

The ICSC report states that each of the 145 million shoppers, which included 105 million on Black Friday alone, spent an average of $377.5 in retail stores in addition to an average of $78.7 on food/dining and entertainment. Shoppers visited an average of six stores, which is an increase over 2016 by two.

Other notable statistics include:

  • 87 percent of Thanksgiving/ Black Friday shoppers took advantage of in-store and online purchasing.
  • 75 percent of all spending was captured by brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • 74 percent of Thanksgiving/Black Friday shoppers at least as much (or more) as they did in 2016.
  • 25 percent made an online purchase with plans to pick up the item in the store (click and collect).
  • 69 percent of those who made a click-and-collect purchase made an additional in store purchase.

“Black Friday sales numbers prove to be another positive sign that retail is alive and not going anywhere," said HFF Managing Director Bryan Ley in HFF's Los Angeles office.  "While there is much talk about e-commerce retail sales and its growth, the healthiest retailers today are those that marry a brick-and-mortar presence with a strong online e-commerce business. ICSC, the shopping center industry’s trade organization, reported that 69 percent of customers who bought products online and then picked items up in stores made additional purchases while in the stores. This is a powerful stat and further shows that customers want products immediately and, while in store, keep buying more items."

"Retailers like JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy all reported strong holiday weekend sales trends," Ley continued.  "JCPenney and Kohl’s have been increasing their business emphasis on their online platforms in recent quarters, which has spelled higher-than-expected earnings for the two retailers in the third quarter along with same-store brick and mortar store sales growth. Brick-and-mortar retail and a strong online platform for retailers is the winning combination for retail today."

Additionally, those who purchased gifts spent an average of $102 on non-gift items, and there is evidence that December will be good for retail since 28 percent of consumers anticipate the deals and promotions in December to exceed those found on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Weekend, with only 12 percent expecting that they won’t be as good. Sixty percent expect the December deals to be just as good.

About the Methodology

The ICSC Black Friday Report was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of ICSC from November 16-19 and on November 25, 2017. The survey represents a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,030 and 1,016 adults 18 years of age and older, respectively for the dates fielded.

About ICSC

ICSC serves the global retail real estate industry. We provide our 70,000+ member network in over 100 countries with invaluable resources, connections and industry insights, and actively work together to shape public policy. For more information about ICSC visit

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