Tis’ the Season of Shopping: 4 Highlights from the 2017 Holiday Retail Survey

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By: Arthur Itkis, JLL Vice President, Retail and Jared Imperatore, JLL Vice President, Retail

The holiday shopping season is upon us and retailers are gearing up for a record-breaking season. JLL’s 2017 Holiday Forecast Report surveyed 300 global and national retailers for some insight into what we can expect this season, as well as consumer insight into what, where and when they’re purchasing gifts.

1. Kicking the Holiday Shopping Season Off Early

While there is much debate about when to officially start holiday shopping, this year, Americans will give themselves plenty of time to complete their holiday shopping leading up to Christmas.

More than half of consumers will begin their holiday shopping before Cyber Monday with 30% of shoppers starting between Halloween and Thanksgiving. However, 18.3% of Americans will wait until two weeks before Christmas to begin purchasing gifts. Once out and about, nearly 40% of consumers will visit six or more stores while shopping, with another 17% planning to visit ten or more stores.

2. Shoppers Opt for Brick and Mortar Versus Online

As online retailers grow larger, consumers still confirm that the holiday atmosphere in physical stores can’t be beaten. An estimated 63.9% of consumers will still head to stores to purchase gifts. Superstores like Walmart and Target will be on the top of those lists with more than 60% of consumers planning to shop there, while 18.5% of customers will invest in small businesses, preferring local mom-and-pop shops.

3. Spending Expectations are Evening Out

On par with last year’s findings, the average gift budget for shoppers in 2017 is $743.30. However, Gen Xers will spend an average of $810.03 a person as they are most likely the group with the youngest children to buy for.

This year’s Holiday Shopping survey found that although there is a natural correlation between income level and holiday budget, spending expectations are evening out. Last year’s high spenders plan to cut back and those who spent less than $100 intend to spend more this year. In fact, 28.5% more shoppers will budget between $250 and $750 for gifts this year compared to 2016.

JLL Holiday 2017 Retail Survey

4. Baby Boomers Defer to Product Experts While Millennials Go by Word of Mouth

Another interesting insight from this year’s survey is the difference in shopping preferences of baby boomers and millennials. Boomers prefer product experts and customer service to any other cohorts. Boomers will also shop for cards and stationary and buy one, get one offers to other age groups. They are more likely to spend over $1,000 and find gift inspiration from newspapers, magazines and retailer emails.

On the contrary, millennials look for an enjoyable shopping experience and shop in superstore and electronic stores more than other age groups. These consumers prefer to order online and pick up at the store. For gift inspiration, millennials look to retail stores and word of mouth. They are more likely to spend less than $250 and utilize their mobile device to check inventory.

JLL Holiday 2017 Retail Survey


This year’s holiday season should prove to be brighter than ever with elevated spending, in-store foot traffic and increased revenue flowing to retailers.

Download the Holiday 2017 Retail Survey

About the Authors

Arthur Itkis is a Vice President in JLL’s Retail Brokerage group in the Great Lakes Region from Detroit, Michigan. Itkis specializes in tenant representation and retail real estate advisory. He brings more than 15 years of retail real estate brokerage to the Southeast Michigan region. Connect with Arthur on LinkedIn to learn more. 




Jared Imperatore is a Vice President in JLL’s Retail Brokerage group in the Great Lakes Region from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Imperatore has more than 10 years of experience in negotiating regional and national retail leases and leads Pittsburgh’s retail sector. Connect with Jared on LinkedIn to learn more.