Holiday Shoppers Start Early

Holiday shoppers are wasting no time getting started this year, with 56.6 percent of those celebrating the holidays already started, up from 54.4 percent last year.

April 6, 2018

Holiday Shoppers Start Early

Thanksgiving weekend no longer marks the start of the holiday shopping period.

Holiday shoppers are wasting no time getting started this year, with 56.6 percent of those celebrating the holidays already started, up from 54.4 percent last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s Consumer Holiday Spending Survey.

This is 16 percent increase from the 49 percent who had started by this time in 2008, the first time NRF asked the question, marking the highest percentage seen since tracking began.

“Thanksgiving weekend shopping has evolved tremendously over the past few years and can no longer be seen as the ‘start’ of the holiday season, though there’s no question it’s still important to millions of holiday shoppers and retailers of all shapes and sizes,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “There is a real sea change happening in retail when it comes to the how, when, where and why of holiday shopping. Consumers today are looking for great prices and value-add promotions earlier than ever before, and retailers have answered these demands in several different ways already this holiday season. That said, many of the season’s best deals are yet to come, meaning there’s still plenty of shopping to be done over Thanksgiving weekend and in December when shipping promotions begin to ramp up. I expect we’ll see shifts all season long as it relates to shopping patterns.”

When

breaking out the amount of shopping that’s been done by age group, 64.9 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds and 62.1 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds say they have already started shopping. Additionally, nearly six in 10 (58.4 percent) of women have already started checking off their holiday lists, compared to 54.6 percent of men.

When it comes to what types of gifts people are planning to buy this holiday season, six in 10 (60.3 percent) will purchase apparel or clothing accessories. Another 46.2 percent said they will purchase books, CDs, DVDs and/or video games, and 41.2 percent said they will buy toys. One in five will buy jewelry (21.8 percent) and 30.5 percent will buy food and/or candy. Interestingly, 56.3 percent say they will buy gift cards, down from 60 percent last year, even though gift cards remain the most requested gift item among holiday shoppers.

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