(WHTM) — It may be the beginning of October, but the holiday shopping season is already in full swing.
This year, things are getting started a lot earlier.
A new RetailMeNot survey shows 83% of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. 60% plan to start in October. That’s more than last year.
“60% of those early shoppers say it’s because they need to spread out their budget over a longer period of time because they’ve been hit by inflation,” Kristin McGrath, shopping expert at RetailMeNot said.
They’re also looking for bargains.
“Shoppers really are hooked on getting the best deal and starting early leaves them more time to do that. One of the things people just wanted more time to look for deals and sales instead of just concentrating all their shopping and maybe missing out on a good deal. This gives them a little more lead time to find good prices in the lead up to the holidays,” McGrath said.
That’s not the only advantage. After prices, the next biggest reason people gave for shopping early was avoiding large crowds in stores, along with the fear of the products they’re looking for being out of stock.
Whatever the reason, early shopping is only growing in popularity.
“We’ve been seeing earlier holiday shopping as an ongoing trend both fueled by consumers needing more time but retailers are doing their fair share to fuel it too. We’ve especially been seeing, since the pandemic, retailers wanting to give people more time, retailers wanting to build up more holiday hype and hope that shoppers complete more shopping trips for the holidays. Retailers have been pushing their sales earlier and earlier to the point where we’re now seeing them launch their first holiday sales in early October,” McGrath said.
In fact, the top retailers have already released their toy lists. Those sales are important as people adjust their spending habits because of inflation.
“Consumers really have had their budgets tested this entire year just to pay for basic living expense. So inflation is still on consumer’s minds and feeding into their budgets as they try to get those elective and not necessary items like gifts,” McGrath said.
Pre-Black Friday sales are in full spring.
Amazon’s big deal days kick off tomorrow. Walmart has one too, which starts tomorrow. Target’s weeklong event just wrapped up, and many other stores are getting in on the action too.
If you miss any of these, you still have the actual Black Friday to look forward to.