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An Estimated 74M American Adults Plan to Spend $36B on Shopping Over Memorial Holiday Weekend, New MFour and Vistar Media Retail Report Shows



Kerry Coppinger

Study shows 7x more consumers plan to shop primarily in-store vs. online, with a total average spend of $486 per adult

Vistar Media, a geospatial technology company bridging the space between advertising ecosystems and consumer movement patterns, and MFour, a mobile research and location analytics company, today released a new report that looks at consumer retail and shopping trends for the upcoming Memorial holiday weekend.

Memorial Day weekend is now one of the most popular shopping holidays of the year, as millions of Americans visit friends and families for backyard barbecues, in search of the latest deals and discounts along the way. The study was conducted from April 5 to April 9 with 1,000 respondents surveyed about travel plans, purchase intentions, shopping preferences and customer location affinity.

Big Spending Plans Show Holiday Isn’t Just for Grilling and Chilling

According to the report, 8 in 10 U.S. adults plan to spend an average of $486 over the holiday weekend. This represents approximately 74M American shoppers with an estimated $36B* in spend, almost a 50% increase from AAA’s 2016 report where the average spend was $320 per person.

In comparing shopping intent between men and women, the study showed men plan to spend 150% more than women over the course of the weekend ($608 vs. $397).

Further, the report revealed good news for brick-and-mortar retailers: 93% of consumers plan to do some in-store shopping, with 50% planning to shop only or mostly in-store.
Infographic about memorial day shopping

The study further looked at shopping preferences and how different factors will impact these decisions. Here’s what was found:

  • 62% ranked low cost as having a major impact on where to shop, followed by both convenience of location and sales & promotions at 54%.
  • Apparel, department stores and electronic stores were the top retail categories reported.
  • Looking at gender, men are almost twice as likely to make purchases at an electronics store than women are (56% vs. 31%), while 72% of women (vs. 56% of men) anticipate shopping at an apparel store over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
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Location Affinity

Consumers surveyed reported high visitation rates at gas stations (90%), retail stores (86%), convenience stores (81%), casual dining restaurants (80%) and malls (74%). Retailers can leverage this audience affinity for certain locations to engage consumers through out-of-home media in the environments where they already spend time.

“The study contains some surprising trends that can help marketers more effectively decide where to put their budget during peak retail opportunities throughout the year,” said Matt Schuster, Chief Revenue Officer of Vistar Media. “For the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, it’s important to note the majority of shoppers plan to be in-store, looking for deals. Digital out-of-home and mobile advertising are crucial channels for reaching active shoppers during key touch points throughout the purchase funnel, while on their path to purchase as well as when they are in-store.”

To learn more about how Vistar provide marketers with tips around optimal digital out-of-home and mobile targeting strategies, or download a link to the full report on consumer behavior and shopping preferences around Memorial Day 2018.


MFour’s Path-2-Purchase™ Platform combines the power of location analytics with market research by connecting to its first-party, validated, proprietary panel of 2 million verified consumers with full demographic profiling, matched across 12.5 million locations, including the ability to survey consumers at any time on their smartphone. Companies can now understand the consumer journey linking the “Who,” “What,” and “Where” to the “Why” by observing and intercepting consumers at any point from awareness to the Point-of-Emotion®.”

*According to 2016 Census Data and Census Reporter, U.S. had population of 323,127,515, 23% of which were under the age of 18, leaving an adult population of approximately 74,319,328. With the average consumer intending to spend of $486 over Memorial day weekend, this represents a total of approximately $36,119,193,408.


About MFour Mobile Research, Inc.

Since 2011, MFour has worked to move market research into the age of the smartphone, advancing beyond landline surveys, email recruitment and online panels. MFour’s Surveys On the Go® app gives researchers access to more than 1,000,000 active panelists who make it the most-downloaded and highest-rated survey app in the US. Brands can use location-capturing technology to reach shoppers in real time and connect with a demographically diverse panel with full representation of Millennials, Hispanics, and African Americans. Mobile GPS technology, multimedia capture, fingerprint validation and GeoValidation® deliver faster, more reliable and accurate insights than traditional survey platforms. 

Media Contact

Leslie Lee
Director of Marketing
Vistar Media

Michael Boehm
Director of Communications

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