Suits: ‘Bad sign for downtown’ as Seattle ranks as worst holiday shopping city

Nov 19, 2023, 12:18 PM | Updated: 12:24 pm

seattle holiday shopping...

Holiday decorations adorn Seattle's downtown (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Seattle has the worst holiday shopping experience in the country, according to a new study by Bankrate that examined affordability, purchasing power and accessibility to shopping in major cities across the country.

Americans plan to spend $875 this holiday season on gifts, holiday items, decorations and food this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), slightly up from 2022. Despite the accessibility of online shopping, 61% of holiday shoppers plan to do at least some of their shopping in person, according to Bankrate research.

More on holiday shopping: Holiday shopping: Don’t wait to save!

“Seattle is ranked first, meaning the worst,” Bryan Suits, host of The Bryan Suits Show on KTTH 770 AM, said. “But I am hopeful for downtown Seattle because Andrew Lewis has to find a real job now and there’s a better crew of people in the Seattle City Council, we’ll see how they do. But what sucks about this is it’s a bad sign for downtown Seattle’s recovery. Demand for office space has tanked. That’s always been a leading indicator.”

After Seattle, the worst cities for local holiday shoppers are Los Angeles, Riverside, Miami and San Francisco. The best city for local holiday shopping is Detroit, ranking among the highest in affordability and retail accessibility. Boston, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Baltimore rounded out the top five.

“Do you have any memories as a kid shopping in downtown Seattle during Christmas?” Suits asked rhetorically. “It was beautiful. It really was. The rain on the streets at night and the whole thing. It was beautiful from Westlake to the Fifth Avenue Theater. You could walk at night in Seattle with cash in your pocket and have a pleasant experience with your kids. It really was beautiful and it was set up just right.”

More from Suits: Seattle is ‘unsafe, and we can’t vote to make it safer’

Listen to Suits’ full conversation over the study here:

Listen to the Bryan Suits Show weekday mornings from 6 – 9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here

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Suits: ‘Bad sign for downtown’ as Seattle ranks as worst holiday shopping city