BLOOMINGTON (WCCO) -- Minnesotans will be spending more this holiday season than last year, according to a University of St. Thomas Professor.
Prof. David Brennan said households he surveyed will spend an average of $703 this year compared with last year's $680. That is still less than the $796 average in 2004, which was before the start of the recession.
The survey also determined this holiday season will be a big one for malls -- especially the Mall of America.
Those surveyed said they plan to spend 53 percent of their holiday shopping dollars at 14 area shopping malls. That is up significantly from the start of the recession in 2008 when 36 percent of shopping dollars went to malls.
As for the hottest items, gift cards top the list. After that, clothing and accessories are on top. One category seeing a shift, books, fell from the No. 2 spot to the No. 5 spot in large part because of the popularity of tablets and the cheaper price of e-books.
While Malls are seeing a rebound, online spending is now at 26 percent, with younger shoppers leading the way.
"Online continues to surge, but, at the same time, catalogue, phone and TV direct buy is going down. It's only about a third of what it was in 2002," said Brennan.
The survey also took a look at which malls, free standing stores and websites are the most popular.
Mall of America is the top mall, while the Rosedale and Southdale malls came in No. 2 and No. 3.
Among individual stores, local retailer Target came out on top.
The survey also found that Amazon.com is dwarfing other online sites among local shoppers.
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