It’s officially the holiday shopping season, and while shopping malls were once integral to the American commerce experience this time of year, the rise of online shopping has given indoor retail interest a real run for its money. But malls aren’t entirely down and out — so who’s helping to keep the doors open? CivicScience polled the general adult population about how they’ll be checking their lists this year, and just how much malls are a part of that plan.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported they won’t be heading to the mall to gather gifts this year, while 43% claim some likelihood of doing so. 

CivicScience data show that in-person product handling, a jolly atmosphere, and exclusive deals are the biggest draws for going to the mall during the holiday season. Though, roughly one-third of respondents say they can’t be charmed by any aspect of the in-person shopping experience.

In theory, promotional events could get more shoppers through the door, but less than one-third of respondents say they’ll take the bait. A stunning majority – over three-quarters of those polled – assert it’s not enough to capture their interest.

As foreboding as this all sounds, it doesn’t quite spell the end of American mall culture. In fact, Gen Z reports high interest in holiday mall shopping, and the 35-54 age bracket is the most determined to see malls succeed via their shopping plans. The likelihood of acquiring holiday gifts at the mall drops off among older Americans, indicating a steady decline in interest with age.

Holiday mall shopping has clear appeal to those in a financially secure situation post-pandemic, while those who were more negatively impacted won’t be prioritizing the in-person shopping experience.

Gift card possession positively influences interest in holiday mall shopping. Participants who have unused gift cards at home are more likely to spend them at the mall, either on gifts for others or something special for themselves.

Lastly, we identified a strong relationship between cannabis users and mall shoppers. Those who partake daily have the greatest likelihood of heading to the mall this holiday season. Our data also found that respondents who approve of President Biden’s recent marijuana pardon for thousands of Americans are extremely likely to be found at the mall this time of year. With the popularity rising for cannabis legalization at the federal level, shopping malls could potentially become a lucrative destination for cannabis businesses to set up shop where they’re able to legally operate.

While the future of malls may seem bleak from the outside, look no further than the younger portion of American citizens with steady bank accounts and cannabis-positive outlooks to keep things going. For the gift of further insights, especially during the most wonderful time of the year for retail, you can request a demo here.