A recent survey of more than 4,000 Georgians by AAA Auto Club Group found that state residents plan to spend an average of $946 overall on holiday gifts in 2017 — 14 percent more than they spent between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.
There's a 40 percent increase in the number of shoppers who plan to buy gifts this holiday season.
“People are making a little more money and feeling comfortable traveling and purchasing things,” said Megan Osborne, a Triple A spokeswoman.
The sales uptick won’t take pressure off brick-and-mortar retailers, Christopher said. Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September in part because of the impact of online e-commerce competition, such as Amazon, and greater interest in consumer electronics, such as phones and tablets, instead of dolls and board games.
Other big box giants, such as Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney and Kohl’s, are expected to weigh whether to continue closing under-performing stores in 2018 after the holiday numbers come in. The brands have already shuttered locations at North DeKalb and Northlake malls, the Mall at Stonecrest and other shopping centers around the metro Atlanta area.
The next generations of shoppers — millennials and Generation Z — are expected to increase their spending during the holidays this year compared to 2016, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
The organizations found that consumers aged 18 to 24 — which include the oldest members of Generation Z — plan to spend 46 percent more this year than last. Millennial consumers — those ages 25 to 34 — will spend 39 percent more in 2017, the survey found.
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