Which Types of Stores Draw in the Most Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers?

December 12, 2023

While Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season, sales and shopping opportunities continue throughout December, drawing in those last-minute shoppers who head into stores during the final week before Christmas.

Male with shopping bags paying on smartphone with credit card while snowing

But which types of stores do last-minute shoppers prefer? To find out, we analyzed foot traffic data to various stores during the week before Christmas in 2022.

Shopping Foot Traffic Trends: Types of Stores

During the week leading up to Christmas in 2022, department stores experienced the greatest rise in foot traffic with a notable increase of 52%, compared to all other weeks. Arts and crafts stores followed closely with a 40% rise, while sports stores saw a 37% uptick. Similarly, jewelry stores saw a 36% rise, and shops specializing in clothing, shoes, and cosmetics experienced a 32% increase. Furthermore, gift and card shops saw a solid increase of 26% during this week as well.

Given their wide array of offerings—from clothing, accessories, home goods, electronics, to toys—department stores unsurprisingly drew in a surge of last-minute holiday shoppers last year, serving as a convenient one-stop-shop for those seeking a variety of gift options. It’s possible that arts and crafts stores drew in last-minute shoppers seeking those final touches for their holiday decorations right before Christmas. Alternatively, shoppers may have been eager to stock up on craft kits for family activities during the holiday season.

Jewelry stores naturally saw increased foot traffic during the week before Christmas last year, likely due to their selection of readily available and high-quality gift options, offering last-minute shoppers a quick and convenient way to find thoughtful gifts. Furthermore, last-minute shoppers probably gravitated toward gift and card shops to quickly and conveniently buy greeting cards, small keepsakes, stocking stuffers, or unique gifts, perfect for acquaintances, colleagues, or to

Shopping Foot Traffic Trends: Types of Stores by Week

When looking at foot traffic data broken out by the weeks leading up to Christmas, most of the types of stores analyzed saw similar trends in foot traffic. There were two prominent peaks in holiday shopping traffic: early in the month, during the week of December 4, as well as just before Christmas during the week of December 18. Meanwhile, a dip in foot traffic was seen across a majority of analyzed store types during the middle of the month during the week of December 11.

At the start of December, shoppers might have been taking advantage of early holiday deals and promotions offered by retailers. Moreover, as Christmas approached, many consumers were likely finalizing their gift purchases or buying items for holiday gatherings and parties.

The reason behind the decrease in foot traffic around the middle of December, specifically during the week of December 11, remains unclear. It’s possible that some shoppers expected more significant discounts as Christmas approached, or they might have been preoccupied with other holiday activities, which delayed their shopping.

Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Trends in 2023

In 2022, there was a noticeable surge in last-minute holiday shoppers across a variety of retail locations. Places like department stores, arts and crafts shops, jewelry stores, and gift and card shops particularly stood out as retailers that saw some of the largest spikes in foot traffic just before Christmas.

This holiday season, we expect this trend will continue, with these popular spots for last-minute shopping likely to see another surge in consumer foot traffic as they draw in crowds of shoppers searching for the perfect gifts or those special finishing touches to add to their festive gatherings.

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