As we enter the final days of the 2016 holiday shopping season, we thought we’d look at what these final days might bring. Overall, there seems to be a sense of optimism among store-based retailers. Greg Maloney, Americas CEO for Jones Lang LaSalle’s (JLL) retail group, says retail sales generally pick up in the holiday seasons following presidential elections and he feels this year will be no exception. Combined with economic growth and a rising stock market, JLL says retailers and shoppers alike are feeling good about the holidays.

A recent Internet Retailer article highlighted JLL’s holiday predictions, including that consumers will spend more on holiday gifts this year than ever before with sales (both online and in-store) expected to rise 4 percent year over year. To put that in perspective, the average increase in holiday sales for the past 10 years is 2.5 percent (source: National Retail Federation).

“Holiday Sales: Among consumers, 72.6% say they will spend the same amount or more on holiday gifts this season than last year”

JLL’s optimistic prediction is based on a survey of 300 of the company’s shopping center retail tenants, as well as 2,800 shoppers. Highlights from the survey include:

  • No Drop in Foot Traffic: 77.3% of retailers say they believe foot traffic at shopping centers will stay the same or increase compared with last year
  • Shoppers Planning to Increase Spending: Among consumers, 72.6% say they will spend the same amount or more on holiday gifts this season than last year
  • Retailers Embracing Omnichannel Deal Strategy: 46.4% of the retailers surveyed are offering the same deals online that they do in-store
  • Offers Going Digital: 60% of store-based retailers will offer email or text message discounts this year

Bitter temps across much of the country are also a boon to holiday retailers, who suffered last year from an unseasonably warm December. With winter weather finally arriving, retail expert Burt Flickinger of Strategic Resource Group says retailers can expect to see a significant increase in apparel sales compared to last year. In addition to apparel, experts expect final shopping days to include an increase in sales of snowblowers, shovels and other winter accessories.

It’s not just the weather that will affect last-minute sales. Because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, with Hanukkah starting the day prior, the window for big brick and mortar shopping spikes closes a full week before the holiday. This calendar confluence means many last-minute shoppers will be turning to eCommerce in the days leading up to the holidays.

We’re excited to see how the final shopping days shake out and whether experts’ predictions of the biggest shopping season yet will ring true.

Happy holidays from all of us at Newgistics!

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