E-commerce diminishes holiday foot traffic at brick and mortar stores

With less than a week of shopping left before Christmas, store employees and shoppers at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek say it's not as busy as they might have expected even for a weeknight.

On this Tuesday night, there was a mix of last minute folks who are rushing to get things done. 

Then there were those who've been shopping since Black Friday and even earlier. But it appears online shopping is definitely making a big difference in spending habits.

The holiday decorations enhanced by the twinkle of the lights at Broadway Plaza create a festive mood---one that retailers hope will entice people to buy from their stores. 

"Who's going to shop on Tuesday? We are!" says Natalie Lund of Danville who's home from college and shopping with her mother.

People say they're out shopping on a weeknight to avoid the crowds. Employees at one large retailer tell me it's been fairly slow during the week. They expect business to pick up this last weekend before Christmas.

Workers and shoppers say e-commerce has impacted foot traffic at brick and mortar stores.

"It's quiet. I was just over at a major department store and even the employees were saying how quiet it was and I've done most of my shopping online this year," says Leighan Campbell of Danville. 

It's hard to beat the convenience of online shopping. A recent survey by MasterCard says e-commerce sales are up more than 16 percent since November, that cyber shopping is attracting an increasing number of fans.

KTVU asked people how much online shopping they do versus going to stores.

"60 online and 40 in the stores, probably just the last two years. I was a little slow catching up, but my kids have always shopped online," says Ken Hayworth of Walnut Creek. 

"I think we do half and half. Online is convenient definitely. But I like to support local too, so we definitely try to come out and hit Walnut Creek and Danville," says Heather Lund of Danville. 

"Most of the time, I have to study so I just do it online because it's fast," says Mimi Janze of Danville.

Experts say early season sales last month are boosting what looks to be a strong holiday spending season.

2017 is projected to have the strongest growth since 2010. 

"We were out Black Friday. We got a lot done. We still need to pick up a couple of items. We're ahead of the game," says Chris Janze.

The survey found that a popular trend is home goods such as furniture and decorations. The sales of those items are up three and a half percent.

"I'm always buying accessories. Our house is always decorated. We're over the top. We've been over the top this year," says Janze.

There were plenty of people who told KTVU they still have a ways to go to complete their holiday list of gifts.

Expect procrastinators to crowd into stores this weekend. 

It will soon be too late to get that online purchase to make it in time for Christmas, unless you want to pay extra for express shipping.