Press Release

This Holiday Season, Maybe We Should Call Them "Mallennials"

- Overwhelming Numbers of Tech-Savvy Millennial Generation (89%) Plan to Shop at the Mall this Holiday Season
- Dads a Distant Last (2%) on List of Favorite People to Shop for

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Countering the conventional wisdom that the younger generation all but lives and shops exclusively online, the new "2014 Holiday Shopping Behavior Survey" from Simon suggests that the mall is where millennials plan to do their holiday shopping. Eighty-nine percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 33 who intend to buy one or more gifts say that they intend to shop at the mall this holiday season.  (In total, 83 percent of respondents across all ages plan to shop at the mall during the holidays.)

"As today's technology-savvy millennials clearly know, there's just no substitute for the inspiration and sense of discovery that malls provide," said Mikael Thygesen, Chief Marketing Officer for Simon.  "The wide variety of shopping options is a major mall attraction as they search for that perfect gift for family members, friends and co-workers."

Key reasons driving the mall's popularity:

  • Nearly 9 in 10 (87%) agree that "malls have the latest and hottest fashion and styles of the season."
  • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) holiday shoppers say they need to browse stores for holiday gift ideas and four-fifths (79%) spend time browsing to find the "big" gifts they purchase during the holidays.
  • Nearly 4 in 5 (78%) agree that "the wide variety of shopping options" is a major mall attraction.
  • 85% agree that "malls provide the variety of retail options I need when shopping for several different people."
  • More than four-fifths of holiday shoppers (84%) agree that malls provide them ideas for holiday gifts.

"Mallennials" Show the Way
In addition to their plans to flock to the mall this holiday season in even greater numbers than their older counterparts, millennials are also much more likely than other age groups to agree that they "sometimes have a real sense of accomplishment after holiday shopping at the mall," (80% of millennials, vs. 73% of seniors, 72% of Gen X, and 68% of Baby Boomers.  Part of that sense of accomplishment may come from the fact that 61% of millennials agree "the ability to get good deals on gifts" (significantly higher than any other generation) is an important mall benefit.

Another major factor driving millennials to the mall this holiday season:  81% of them (significantly higher than all other groups) agree that shopping at the mall helps avoid the risk of gifts not being delivered on time.  That could be especially important because 20% of millennials say they will be shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve (also significantly higher than other generations)!  Finally, to demonstrate the holiday spirit, millennials are  the most likely generation to volunteer time this holiday season with a charitable organization (25% say they volunteer, compared to 16% of Gen X).

Added Thygesen, "It is great to see young adults 'giving back' at this time of year, an approach we're actively encouraging through our 'Spread Love' initiative at Simon malls all across the country this holiday season."

Online is for Research, the Mall is for Purchasing
Technology does play an important role in the holiday shopping experience, according to Simon's 2014 Holiday Shopping Behavior survey.  It turns out that technology is not a replacement for physical shopping but rather a tool that helps enable, refine and focus the mall shopping experience:

  • Many shoppers, including 76% of millennials and 72% of Gen X, indicate they have purchased a gift at a store's mall location after browsing their website.
  • More than half of holiday shoppers (53%) like stores or malls with apps that can make shopping easier.
  • One-half of holiday shoppers (51%) plan to use their mobile devices while holiday shopping to compare prices.
  • Two-thirds of millennials say they would post about a good holiday shopping experience on social media sites.

The Art and Science of Gift Giving / Dad's Gonna be Sad!
When asked about "their favorite person to shop for this holiday season," "children" comfortably finished first among respondents at 40%, "spouse/partner" earned a 24% share, "extended family member/friend" earned 13% "mother" finished fourth at 9% and "boyfriend/girlfriend" snagged 8%.

"Dad," alas, barely sputtered across the finish line with a mere 2% of respondents saying he would be their favorite person to shop for this holiday season.  Sad to say, Dad finished behind "someone else" at 3%. 

"At Simon, we feel Dad's pain at this festive time of year and hope fathers everywhere will rise on gift-giving lists as the holiday shopping season peaks in coming weeks," said Thygesen.

When asked about types of gifts they hoped to receive this year, more than half of respondents selected gift cards (54%), followed by cash (45%), clothing (38%) and small electronics (28%).  Right behind it were fragrances, perfume and personal care products (all at 22%) and jewelry (20%).

For additional survey results, please click here.

About Simon
Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and an S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE: SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit

About Simon's 2014 Holiday Shopping Behavior Survey
The Simon 2014 Holiday Shopping Behavior Survey polled 1,048 holiday shoppers aged 18 and older across the U.S. to evaluate their holiday shopping attitudes and behavior.  The survey was conducted online by Russell Research from September 18-25, 2014.  At a 95 percent level of confidence, a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent applies to the sample.


Vanessa Igel, Reputation Partners, 312.428.3760,, or Maria Weber, Simon, 317.263.7191,