NRF: Holiday Shopping Concentrated Earlier

More than half of consumers began shopping for the holiday by the first week of November and almost a quarter of purchases were made by then, according to an annual survey published by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

In the study, 56% of consumers said during the first week of November they had already begun their holiday shopping, about the same as the past few years but up from 48% a decade ago. On average, NRF maintained, consumers had completed 24% of their shopping, the highest level in the survey’s history and up from 16% in 2009.

All is not lost for retailers anticipating big sales continuing to Christmas, however. Just 4% of survey respondents had finished their shopping, NRF noted.

NRF president and CEO, Matthew Shay, said, “This is further evidence that the holiday season has grown far beyond the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is still a hallmark of the season, and there’s billions of dollars in shopping still to come. But many consumers have already been shopping for weeks, and retailers are increasingly adapting to that.”