Charleston, SC / Winston-Salem, NC—Bigger is, well, bigger. According to the the Christmas & Holiday Shopping Forecast released this week by America’s Research Group and Inmar, Walmart, the largest retailer, remains the No. 1 store where consumers are doing most of their holiday shopping this past weekend, up from 72.3% last year to 76.1% this year.
Walmart is seeing the biggest sales growth in children’s clothing, up from 11.5% last year to 17.5% this year.
Online Christmas shopping has actually slowed (so far) over last year with 41.9% of shoppers buying gifts online last year compared to 40.1% this year.
Shopping Slows at Malls
Although, of those who are shopping online, Amazon continues to grow market share from 27.7% last year to 28.7% this year. Other retailers garnering bigger shares of the online market: Walmart continues to grow (9.1% last year to 11.2% market share this year) and Sears surged this past weekend making the biggest jump in online sales this holiday season moving from 4.1% market share to 9.2% market share this year.
As far as winning categories this season, consumer electronics are up from 19.8% last year to 39.2% this year and children’s clothing, up from 13.6% last year to 17.1% this year.
“As we predicted, for those parents who waited to finish their shopping for back-to-school apparel, Walmart is winning big,” said Britt Beemer, chairman/ceo at ARG.
Walmart may have had a good holiday sales weeks recently, but mall retailers have been less lucky, less than 1 in 5 shoppers shopped at an enclosed mall. Mall shopping is down this season compared to last year, from 23.5% last year to a 19.2% who visited a mall this past weekend.
Gift card purchases are also down this year, from 54.1% last year to 44.8% this year. And more consumers are using credit cards to pay for their purchases this Christmas season, up from 19.5% last year compared to 27.3% this year. Of those using credit cards, an increase from 45.6% to 56% are using their credit cards more than they planned to this Christmas shopping season.
“With more Americans finished with their Christmas shopping, retailers will need to pull out all the stops next weekend or they will experience negative sales levels for their stores this Christmas season,” says Beemer.
About the Survey
The ARG/Inmar research consisted of 1,000 telephone interviews conducted Dec. 13 to 15, at ARG headquarters in Charleston, SC. The error factor is plus or minus 3.8%.