Survey Predicts Twin Cities Shoppers Will Spend More this Holiday Season

November 15, 2017 09:58 PM

Shoppers in the Twin Cities expect to spend more this holiday season, a new survey shows.

The University of St. Thomas' 16th annual holiday shopping survey finds Twin Cities holiday shoppers are planning to spend highest amount yet in the survey's history.


Researchers predict $950 in household holiday spending - up 3.5 percent from last year.

RELATED: A Projected Look at Thanksgiving Weekend Shoppers: By the Numbers

The research was conducted by St. Thomas marketing professors Dr. Dave Brennan and Kim Ragan Sovell.

The annual survey is conducted in late October and early November and provides data on Twin Cities holiday shopping trends. The survey measures the intent of Twin Cities shoppers: how much they think they will spend for holiday gifts and where they will spend it. 

Brennan said shopping malls need to keep changing to compete for shopping dollars.

"One of the major things malls need to do, just like a retailer, is they have to change the variety and assortment of the things they're offering," Brennan said. "I think over the last five years we've seen that increasingly because of the internet.

"They have to become increasingly relevant, exciting and interesting places for people to shop."

Rosedale Center has just undergone a major renovation and a new Von Maur store will open in the fall of 2018. 

"The buzz word in the industry is the experience," Rosedale Center General Manager Scott Michaelis said. "We're consistently battling with online and internet shopping. You have to give them something here that they can only get here." 

This year, 8.3 percent of respondents said they plan to shop the internet exclusively this holiday season, with 43 percent planning to do at least 50 percent of their shopping online. 

For the past 16 years, the survey asked shoppers where they plan to spend their money. In 2016 and 2017, the answers were nearly identical with internet sales increasing by 1.6 percent and brick and mortar stores losing the same percentage. 

"Over the past few years, internet shopping increased steadily at the expense of the other categories," Sovell said. "But this year we saw few changes between where respondents will spend their money compared to last year.

"Both the malls and the internet received 78.5 percent of the shopping dollar." 

Respondents were also asked to select the single brick and mortar conventional store where they planned they planned to shop. Target led the way with Macy's a distant second. The five most popular brick and mortar stores were Target, Macy's, Walmart, Kohl's and Nordstrom. 

In the website category, Amazon led the way by a huge margin. Trailing were Best Buy, Macy's, Target, and eBay. 

When asked where they planned to do most of their holiday shopping this year, respondents listed:

1. Mall of America (last year No. 1); 2. Rosedale (last year No. 5); 3. Ridgedale (last year No. 2); 4. Eden Prairie (last year No. 8); 5. Southdale (last year No. 6); 6. Premium Outlets of Eagan (last year No. 10); 7. Burnsville (last year No. 3); 8. Woodbury Lakes Area (last year No. 7); 9. Maplewood (last year No. 4); 10.  Riverdale Area (last year No. 9); 11.  Arbor Lakes Area (last year No. 11); 12.  Downtown Minneapolis (last year No. 12); 13.  Northtown (last year No. 10); 14.  Albertville Outlet Center (last year No. 13); 15.  Galleria (last year No. 15); 16.  Downtown St. Paul (last year No. 16)

(Use caution when comparing this year's numerical rank to last year's numerical rank because last year there were ties and this year there are none)

This year's holiday spending survey included 362 online responses from households in the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes two counties in western Wisconsin.

The respondents reflect the demographics of the area, as well as those who responded to previous holiday spending surveys.


Joe Mazan

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