Some good news for retailers: In addition to being a popular weekend for travel, Memorial Day weekend has also become one of the most popular shopping holidays of the year.
That’s according to research from audience insights platform Vistar Media and mobile research firm MFour, which found eight in 10 U.S. adults plan to spend an average of $486 over the holiday weekend. (The two in 10 who said they were not likely to spend did not continue the survey.) And it’s men who are the big spenders—they’re planning to spend $608 at retailers while women plan to spend $398.
The study said 93 percent of consumers plan to do some in-store shopping, with 50 percent planning to shop only or mostly in-store. And, since Vistar sells digital out-of-home placements, the findings also make for a convenient excuse for it to remind brands to avail themselves of its services in order to capture those traveling eyeballs.
Apparel, department stores and electronic stores were the top retail categories reported in the survey of 1,000 consumers—and the results reinforce some long-held stereotypes: men are almost twice as likely to make purchases at electronics stores than women (56 percent versus 31 percent), while 72 percent of women (versus 56 percent of men) anticipate shopping at an apparel store.
It may very well be Memorial Day sales luring customers. Research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics found 45.5 percent of adults 18 and older are somewhat or very likely to take advantage of retailers’ sales and promotions over Memorial Day weekend—including nearly 60 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds.
Vistar said consumers are looking for deals and discounts en route to visit friends and families for backyard barbecues. And while the American Automobile Association (AAA) said it does not have data about what activities travelers have planned for Memorial Day, it did say more than 41.5 million Americans will travel over Memorial Day weekend, which is nearly 5 percent more than 2017 and the most in more than a decade.
AAA says most of these travelers—36.6 million—will go by car despite the highest Memorial Day gas prices since 2014. Per AAA, gas prices averaged $2.72 in April, which marks an increase of 33 cents from last year. However, Prosper found 43.3 percent of US adults 18 and up will decrease travel and/or drive less as a result of fluctuating gas prices—and $2.85 is the average price per gallon that causes consumers over the age of 18 to change their driving habits.